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


Arthur Bliss Copp

Laurier Liberal

Mr. A. B. COPP (Westmorland):

usual, we have the city representatives telling the farming communities how they should operate their farms, and what treatment they should accord to their help in order to get them to work an extra hour, after the city people have gone to their different recreations. I represent a constituency in the Maritime Provinces where' there are not only farmers, but towns and cities in which manufacturing and other industries are carried on. Last year, when this Bill was introduced by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, I received a very large number of letters and telegrams in opposition to the measure from agriculturists in my constituency. Since Parliament opened I have received other communications to the same effect. It seems to me there are only one or two practical considerations arising in regard to thismeasure: one is the advantage-and an advantage it is-to those who are employed in shops, factories, and work of that character, to have the extrahour in the evening for recreation. No doubt there is something in favour of the Bill to be said on that account. The argument advanced by my hon. friend from Port Arthur and Kenora (Mr. Keefer) that he had seen clerks employed in dry goods, establishments enjoying a game of baseball after their day's work isall very well for those men; but it seems to me that at the present
time the vital interests of the people of this country are concerned in the question of greater production. To secure that result appeals have been made to the farmers of the country, not only by this Parliament, and by the ministers of agriculture of the Dominion and the several provinces, but men have been specially sent out from the cities to impress upon the agricultural population in the different localities that it was their bounden duty to their country to produce more. Now to achieve that result the farmers must have all the facilities that can possibly be provided. So far as the great majority of the people of Canada are concerned, I do not think it matters at all whether we have daylight saving or whether we do not.

When we get down to the question of greater production-and I am speaking from a local point of view only because I am not familiar with the farming operations in the province of Ontario and in the greater provinces of the West-we must bear in mind practical conditions. In the Maritime Provinces the 'heavy dews remain two or three hours in the morning, and it is impossible for farmers to do1 work during that time.
You cannot work with the hay, nor with the grain, you cannot cultivate root crops because of the dampness. It is against the growth of the crop if you work while the dew*and dampness are on the ground While- I am not what you would call a farmer absolutely, I do some farming in the way of cutting and curing hay, and I know that during haying operations in my county, and the Maritime Provinces generally, for hay-making and harvesting the hour between five and six o'clock in the afternoon is worth any two or three hours in the morning, and it is important to the people who have this work to do that they should have this hour. The answer might be made that there is nothing to prevent the farmer going into the field and working the extra hour. That is very true, and they do it; they not on'ly work that extra hour provided by the Daylight Savings Bill, but they have in the past worked an extra two hours to save their crop. I want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that a large number of the farmers in my section of the country are compelled to hire a great deal of labour to assist in harvesting their crops, and the faTm labourers will stop work at six o'clock, the same as the working men in the cities and towns adjoining. For that reason I say it is a very great inconvenience to the farmer, it would be a great hdndran.ce to him in producing and harvesting his crop, and would prove a very great disadvantage. Personally, it makes no difference to me, and I have no feeling one way or the other, but on behalf of the fanning population, a large number of whom I represent, I protest against the passage of this Bill.
Mr. EVAN E. FRASER (Welland): I did not intend to speak on this measure because I thought it would be argued out along slightly different lines, but I may say that the first money I earned in my life was working for a farmer during haying and harvesting, and every morning at half past two he would get up and say: " Hurry
up, boys, get up, day is breaking, time to go to work." If I were working for that farmer at the present time I would hate

to see this Bill come into force, but representing, as I do, eight large townships, and knowing that that custom is not in vogue now, and having had occasion during last September, October and November to go around and call at their houses on my own private business, I found, on looking at their clocks, that in nearly every house the clock was pushed on anywhere from a quarter of an hour to an hour, and when I would make a remark as to the time they would say: "It's all right, Fraser, we know that clock is three-quarters of an hour fast." I have not had any protest from the farmers of the county of Welland against this Bill, and I am heartily in accord with it because I spent last summer over in England and France, where dalight saving was in force, and outside of the first week, when we had to get up an hour earlier than usual, everything moved along like clockwork.

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