March 26, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Hay


Mr. THOMAS HAY (Selkirk):

I have listened with interest to the remarks of my hon. friend from Kent (Mr. MeCodg), and I am. very much in accord with his views. I think production in Canada will be lessened by the passing of this measure. My hon. friend has stated the facts .correctly with reference to the hay crop and the harvesting of grain. Very often we have to wait for an hour in the morning., and sometimes two. hours, until the sun is sufficiently strong to dry the grain. From, the standpoint of the working people also, I am opposed to this legislation. I aim .satisfied that in western Canada, at all events, with our long period of daylight, this measure would mean, the taking off of one hour from the working classes in the morning, which could not foe made up to them at night. By this legislation they will be compelled to get up and go. to work an. hour earlier, but certainly they will not go to bed an hour

earlier, for people will not go- to toed as long as daylight is over the land; so these people will not get the extra hour's rest in the evening. Daylight saving is largely an experiment.
While it seems to have worked all right in European countries, and while we have certain reports to that effect from those countries, I am satisfied that it is still in the experimental stage. Brandon and Winnipeg tried it m 1916 and they have discontinued it since. That does not say much for the Bill. The only real, good argument that could be advanced for the adoption of this Bill at this time would he the fact that the United States are adopting the same system. With reference to the school chil dron, if the schools were all opened and closed according to the time proposed by *this Bill, it would not be in the interest of the health of the children. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) *says that according to reports the health of the children has not been impaired in the older countries, but I do not see how it can work out in this country if the working men and the school children are compelled to get up an hour earlier and lose an hour's rest in the evening. That certainly would not be in the interest of the children. I cannot see how production would be increased by the adoption of the Bill. Personally, I feel satisfied that production would not he increased. If the farmers and the farmers' wives were compelled to observe the time prescribed by this Bill, it would mean that they would have to rise an hour earlier. The hired help would quit an hour earlier in the evening. That, in my opinion would not increase production. My right hon. friend said that the most important industries of the country were unanimous in asking that this Bill be adopted. I have not heard any request from any of the organized bodies of farmers for a change of this kind. I do not think they have made such a request and I do not think it is their intention to do so. The great problem before Canada to-day is that of the production of more food and I am satisfied that food would not be produced as largely if this Bill were adopted as it would under the old time.

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