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


Arthur Meighen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. MEIGHEN (Portage la Prairie).

We have had the great privilege of listening to two addresses on this subject from the Minister of Labour (Mr. King), and at the close of the second address I think that every hon. me/nber is as much in the dark as he was at the first of the debate as to what the policy of the government is in regard to this Bill. We may have learned a great deal about the principle of the eight hour day and about many features of the Bill, but I can state one thing that we have not learned in the course of the debate, and that is the policy of the government. If I understood the question and remarks of the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. J. D. Taylor), what he' wanted from the Minister of Labour was a clear statement of the policy of the government with regard to this measure. The hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Ernest Roy) contends-and, in a measure, rightly contends-that when this House passes the second reading of the Bill, it .adopts the principle of the Bill, and he further goes on to explain that the Minister of Labour has endorsed the principle of this Bill. Now if the principle of the Bill is something that can be taken as endorsed by the speech of the Minister of Labour, then I, for one am utterly at a loss to see any i>rinciple whatever in the Bill. Throughout, the course of his address, the Minister of Labour expressed antagonism to the general principle and to the extended adoption of the principle of the eight hour day.

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