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


Horatio Clarence Hocken


Mr. H. C. HOOKEN (Toronto West):

Mr. Speaker, from the standpoint of a real city, I would like to express my approval of the Bill. As a matter of increased production, allow me to point out that it has been, estimated -that in the cultivation of the back yards in the city of Toronto a million dollars worth of produce can be grown annually. During the past two or three years -a large quantity of produce has been secured from back-yard gardens. It has had a most important and elevating effect upon the whole population'. There is no doubt at all that engaging in gardening

operations has an uplifting moral effect, and if there is one thing that is necessary-in a large city like Toronto or Montreal it is that -anything that conduces to that uplift should be adapted.
Now, -under the present hours, if we can produce a million dollars worth of garden truck in the city of Toronto* with an extra hour of daylight in the evening that production could be very greatly increased in Toronto and elsewhere. As you know, Sir, in our city nearly every house is a self-contained home. Our people all have pieces of garden land, and if we could get them to undertake this production, and we are succeeding in doing to a very satisfactory degree, it would mean a great deal for the city of Toronto.
I submit for the consideration of the farmer members of the House that it is the duty of Parliament to consider with some care the situation in a big city. The people who reside in the rural districts live under the very best conditions that human nature can enjoy. Those who live in the cities, in surroundings more or less congested, merit some special consideration from the law-making power; and anything that will conduce to their welfare is well worthy of the careful and thoughtful attention of the House and of the farming community as well. I think it will be found that the urban population in Ontario is-about as large as the rural population if not larger, and bearing in mind the possibilities of increased production in all the towns .and cities of the country; that means a very great deal in the way of increased production. Take cities like Woodstock, Guelph, St. Thomas and Galt, where the workmen employed in the factories live in houses with an acre or so of land attached, the extra hour possible under this Bill will enable those men to cultivate their lands, with very much better results than can possibly he achieved under existing conditions. The farmer's business is to cultivate the land. If the dew did not rise until twelve o'clock he would have to gather in his grain or his hay after that time, and it would be just as easy for him to engage in some other occupation in the meantime, and to garner bis crops later in the day. I quite concede that those who have to employ labour to work their farms might have some difficulties with individuals, but it -seems to me that is a matter which can be easily arranged between the employer and the employee. No hardship would be involved in asking the employee to work the statutory hours fixed under this Bill, instead of those which prevail at the present time. I think
those who speak for the farmer Eire .anticipating a difficulty which is not likely to arise to any great degree. In my opinion .a little suavity and kindness, as well as consideration in the dealings of the farmers .with those who work for them, would overcome any difficulties that are likely to exist. I feel satisfied, Mr. Speaker, that .a year's experiment with daylight saving would result in the conviction in. the farming as well as the urban communities that this legislation is something that should be permanently adopted.

Full View