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


James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR (New Westminster).

It seems to me tha,t. before the House assents to the adoption of that motion, we should have some assurance from the Minister of Labour (Mr. King) that he expects the committee to make a favourable report on the Bill. Having passed the second reading and adopted the principle of the Bill, I think we are entitled to have a committee that is known to be favourable to the measure, and that the committee to whom it is referred should not be expected to say whether we shall adopt such a Bill or not, but to perfect the Bill, because, as has been stated by hon. members here to-night,

in its present shape the Bill is not workable. I think we are entitled to a declaration from the government as to what they expect from this committee, for, though the motion has been moved by the hon. member from Maisonneuve (Mr. Verville) it is upon the government that the responsibility rests, and if the government do not know what to expect from that committee, I think it is their business to find out. We ought not to take this step in the dark.
I would like to say, while on my feet, that some hon. members have taken what seems to me a most extraordinary position as to why this matter is before us. The question is not one of pity for or sympathy with the employees of contractors who are working for the government. It impresses me rather in this way: This is supposed to be a government of the people; a very large proportion of the contributors to this government are the organized workingmen who believe in the eight hour day; these people simply come to their servants in this House and ask them to see to it that in the expenditure of their money on contracts carried on for the Dominion government, a provision shall be inserted that the principle which they hold so dear shall not be violated. I think that is a reasonable request, and that having passed the second reading of this Bill we should not entrust it to any committee unless we have some assurance as to the attitude of the committee towards the Bill.

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