March 27, 1919 (13th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH READ (Prince, P.E.I.):

1 am not going to detain the House very long, and I would not speak at all were it not that I have changed my mind since last session. I pointed out the other night that in my opinion consistency was the hobgoblin of little minds. I believe in expressing my views to-day, even though it may contradict everything I said yesterday, providing I have good grounds for changing my opinion. I want to say that the only vote I gave in this House last session to which fault was found in my constituency was the vote which I gave on this daylight saving measure. One of the reasons that I have for changing my mind is that my constituents found fault with me last year for supporting the Daylight Saving Bill.
I want to answer some of the arguments put forward, Mr. Speaker, in favour of daylight saving. One was in regard to train time. Some years ago the United States railway time was an hour different from ours, but we found no very great difficulty about it, and as a matter of fact there are three or four different sections between the Atlantic and Pacific where-there is an hour's difference in the train: time; for instance, we change our time one hour at Vanceboro on our way to Ottawa. That argument is not well taken.
Another thing that has come up in this debate would cause me to change my mind, that is, that I find that the large cities

which wish to adopt the daylight saving scheme within their own boundaries can do so by way of by-law. Therefore, why should we extend daylight saving to the country people who do not want it? If the cities want daylight saving, let them adopt it within their civic boundaries; then there is no harm done.
An argument advanced in favour of the Bill by the hon. member from Montreal (Mr. Jacobs) was that all the rest of the world had adopted daylight saving. That is no good reason at all in its favour. If it was, why every law enacted by other nations would need to be adopted by us.
Another very strong argument in favour of the amendment is that the country young men get very much dissatisfied with the fact that the city boys can knock off work an hour earlier, because it is impossible for the farming people to complete their work by five o'clock.
There is just one more thing I want to say in regard to this question, and that is to thank the 'Government for the change in its attitude towards this House, and: inviting this expression of opinion1, instead of its former course of introducing a measure and then telling the House: You must swallow this or defeat the Government.

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