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


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)


Many good reasons have been given why the House should not assent to this motion, but there may be other reasons why we should assent to it. The Department of Labour was originally constituted just for the purpose of collating such information as would be useful to parliament in considering a Bill of this kind, and the acknowledgment that the Department of Labour has now to go to the expense of calling in an expert to advise it is an acknowledgment that the Department of Labour is no good. I remember very distinctly the eulogies that were expended upon the Minister of Labour when he first took office. We did not know much about him when he entered the House, but we were told he was an educated man, a man who had shown great ability and industry, a man who had travelled through different countries of the world for the purpose of gaining information of an expert nature on sociological questions, and that he had devoted his life to this work. We were told we could not afford to do without his services, and that for that reason he was brought here and placed at the head of the department. We were told that he had experience as deputy Minister of Labour, that he had published the * Labour Gazette ' for some years, that he had studied these questions in Germany and other parts, of the world, and we gave him a large staff of employees to assist him. Now we are told that he is not able to furnish information with regard to a very simple labour problem. This is an admission that all the eulogies bestowed on him were not deserved. If they were deserved, then there must be a strike on in the Labour Department and they wont do their work. Now, the minister seeks to engage the services of a university professor to assist him in the work which he himself ought to do, and I am quite sure that if this professor were not a native of the country the provisions of the Alien Labour Law would be invoked to shut him out. But as he happens to live Mr. EDWARDS.
in the country he may be used notwithstanding. In view of all these admissions from the Labour Department and from members of the government, that if the department is absolutely unable to cope with this important question and incapable of giving the required information let us pass this motion and incur the expense and get some one who will give us the information that is so much needed.

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