February 2, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


George Gerald King



If the House will give me an opportunity I will be very glad to show what the Department of Labour is doing in view of some of the reflections which have been cast upon its work. However, at the moment, I will content myself with drawing attention to the kind of criticism that is made of the department and of the unfair nature of the charges that are sometimes levelled at it. The hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain) has just read to the House from the Auditor General's Report a statement which he says shows the expenditure of the department to be $112,000 a year. I have in my hand a copy of the Auditor General's Report, and I will read from it just to show how that total is made up. I see here Royal Commission re losses of Japanese residents of Vancouver through riots in September, 1907, $623, and Chinese claims re riots in Vancouver, September, 1907, $27,433.41. That was money paid in settlement of the claims of Chinese for losses occasioned in the riots in Vancouver, something with which the Department of Labour as a department has nothing to do. The item is included but it is not a part of the expenditure of the Department of Labour in any sense of the word. Similarly, we have the Royal Commission re oriental labourers, $1,268.23, the Royal Commission re cotton industry in the province of Quebec, $1,404 and the joint International Opium Conference, Shanghai, China, $5,500. These are all items which are not properly chargeable in any sense of the word to the Department of Labour. If they are deducted from the total it will be seen that the cost of the Department is not anything like what the hon. gentleman would lead the country to believe.

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