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


Robert James Manion


Mr. R. J. MANION (Port William and Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great deal of diffidence that I, as a new meimlber, rise in tlhis House to voice imy opinions, but I have risen for the same reason that my hon. friend from Port Arthur (Mr. Keefer) has addressed the House. I did not know that my hon. friend from Port Arthur was going to speak on the Bill, or probably I would have advised >hitm to handle it entirely from the standpoint of a city where this method of advancing the time has been in force for a number of years. Just as my hon. friend from Port Arthur has stated, at the head of the lakes, at Fort William and Port Arthur, this method of saving daylight has been in force for many years, and there has never been any complaint from any group of people or any class with regard to the conditions caused by it. On the contrary, the great consensus of opinion is that it is conducive to health and advantageous in all manner of works. Besides representing the city, both the member for Port Arthur and myself represent rural constituencies. My constituents knew that 'this Bill was coming before the House, and although I have had a great many letters from them on different matters pertaining to my work here, no one has mentioned any opposition to the Daylight Saving Bill.
There are many reasons why this Bill should toe adopted. First, let us consider it from the medical standpoint. I have been practising for fourteen or fifteen years, and I think I can speak with some authority on the medical sido of the question. In what I say from this standpoint I toelieve that I am voicing the opinion of a number of medical men in this House. And just here, in passing, let me say that I am very much pleased that there are so many medica' men in the House. A good deal of opposition is manifested in the press at times to so many lawyers being in the House, but I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that the medical men who have come here in such large numbers will endeavour to counteract any evil influence of the lawyers.
Coming to medical reasons, I believe, as every one who looks into hygienic questions believes, that sunlight is necessary for health. Every little boy who has ever gone
fishing knows that if he picks up a hoard to look for worms he will find the grass underneath the board white and anaemic, because the sunlight has been excluded. The same thing applies to human life. I know of quite a little experiment which, no doubt, all of the medical men in this House have read of, in regard to an infection of tuberculosis, which was experimented with on rats .some years ago, and the same thing applies to human life just as it does to any other form of life. A dozen rats were infected with tubercle bacilli. Six of them were put in the cellar of a house *where the surroundings were unsanitary, and where the sunlight was excluded. The other six rats were allowed to run about in the fresh air and sunlight. I remember distinctly that the six rats which were kept in the cellar of the house and prevented from taking in the proper amount of fresh air and sunlight died as a result of the small degree of inoculation which they had received. The other six lived because of the counteracting effect of the fresh air and sunlight. That is a little point, in passing, from the medical standpoint, but I toelieve it an important one.
Then, there is the economic standpoint, which is of great importance at the present time. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has very ably dealt with that side, and probably I should not presume to mention it. But there is the point of the saving in coal which will result from the lack of necessity of generating so much electricity for the house to ' use. There would also he a saving of oil, where oil lamps are used in the country where electricity is not available. This will result in a saving of fuel, and we all know that the fuel situation is a difficult one to handle. As a consequence there will be a saving of transportation. Honourable gentlemen from the West know that the transportation question is also a very difficult one to handle, particularly at the time of the year when the great crops of the West are coming East. They know that a saving in transportation at that time will be an advantage to the country. So that these two questions, coal and electricity, fuel (and transportation, will be helped.
I have heard a number of hon. members object on the ground of loss of production. I was going to mention the same fact that the hon. member for Port Arthur (Mr. Keefer) referred to in' connection with the head of the lakes. We have had this daylight saving rule in operation for some years, and whatever action may be taken here, we have no intention of going back.

At the head of the lakes, production has been marvellously increased, particularly in the yacant lot gardens, to the extent, as the hon. member said, of $100,000, at the cost of a few hundred dollars for minor clerical work. I believe that all over this country you will find that a greater production will result, particularly of the garden variety. I do not doubt that hon. members from more rural constituencies than mine know whereof they speak, and that there will be some disadvantages. The greatest objection is due to the fact of the misconception that we will be getting up earlier in the morning. Except for the one night, when the hands of the clock are shoved one hour ahead, and you do miss one hour's sleep, there is absolutely no difference. I venture to say when one travels to Port Arthur or to Fort William-which use eastern time, hut which should use western time-if he did not change his watch he would notice no difference.
Then, there is one point that has not been mentioned, and in these days of moral uplift it may be worth mentioning, that is the effect of daylight saving on the morals of the people. It has been claimed that morals have been greatly elevated ag a result of this measure. I know very little of the actions, or of the methods of acting, of the Devil, but some of my friends who claim they do, tell me that he prefers to act in the dark. I believe we may even raise the morals of this country slightly in this matter. %
Then, there is another little point, affecting the returned soldier. Hundreds and thousands of soldiers are coming back here, maimed and broken. If they are given longer hours of daylight it will make it easier for these men to get around. Some will think this suggestion far fetched, but it is a fact that it will foe much more difficult for a man using crutches-and we shall have many of them in this country-to get around in the dark than in the day. I wish to support very strongly the passing of this Bill. I think it will be a good thing in peace times, and 1 consider it is a much better thing in war times.

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