July 3, 1919 (13th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Fred Langdon Davis


Mr. F. L. DAVIS (Neepawa):

Mr. Speaker, as one of the members of the committee bringing in the report on which this Bill follows, I think I should say a few words in support. First, with reference to what the member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien) said, that it never was and is not now wise that such a Bill should be introduced, although immediately thereafter he criticized the Government for not having introduced this Bjll two years ago. I think he is on one horn or other of a dilemma there, and it might truly be .said that the Government then perhaps was no wiser than he is now, but now if is wiser than he was then or is now. With regard to his remark that the fiscal policy of this country probably aggravates the situation, I agree; but I think that Free Trade and Protection, have but a passing reference to this question, because when I .see those states which have better conditions with regard to Protection than we have-such as the United States, the Dominion of New Zealand, and even that great happy realm of Great Britain-them-
selves regulating these conditions as we now propose to regulate them, I think that something more than Protection must be at the root of the trouble. What then is it?
The facts, as I see them, are these: It was in 1825 that we first had the possibility of limited liability joint stock companies, and then, itoo, it first became possible for labour to organize itself in trade unions. Since that time we have had a development of industry which is not like anything the world had known before. We have seen aggregations of capital and we have seen- aggregations of labouring men, and now they stand in hostility, and we have to understand the situation. Now, if I or any other member of this House understood just what was wrong, we would probably tell the House, .and we might apply the proper remedy; but the trouble is that to-day we do not know just how to correct the situation. However, we propose a tribunal which shall make of this situation a special study, and which will find the remedy if it is at all possible. The course now being pursued by us, four years ago was entered upon by New Zealand and by the United States-and I would like to direct attention to ithe report of the Committee on Trusts of the British Parliament, because I think it will open the eyes of many of our members. It is State Paper No. 9236. I would especially direct attention to the addendum to. that report headed " A study of trade organizations and combinations in (the United Kingdom, prepared for the Committee on Trusts by John Hilton, of the Garton Foundation." He was the secretary of the committee and his study is referred to in .these words at the end of the committee's report:
We wish to place on record our appreciation of the great services which have been rendered to the committee by our secretary, Mr. John Hilton, whose comprehensive study of combinations we have printed as an appendix to this report.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE ACT, 1919.
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