March 30, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)

PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

I am glad to hear that
from the lips of the Prime Minister. I am not quite familiar enough with the law to know whether or not it would lie in the initiative of the Government to take that step. If it does, then I submit that the Prime Minister would be' well advised in taking it. After all, the great force of public opinion is perhaps the strongest force that operates in the settlement of these disputes, and I have not seen, either to-day or yesterday, or even before, although it may have escaped my observation, that this way has again been tried in the consideration of this matter. As the Prime Minister has pointed out, a board of conciliation has all the powers of inquiry that a royal commission has, and if that board is reconvened-and I presume it is still in existence-and takes up its work again, making an inquiry in the light of the situation as it exists, you may find the temper on both sides of the dispute at such a point that the parties could find a common ground on which to arrive at a settlement. People have to quarrel sometimes for a certain length of time1 before they can reach common ground, and after a dispute has been accentuated and the atmosphere has become tense, people, not only the parties to the dispute but the great force of public opinion outside, have impressed upon their minds the gravity of the matter, and you have a situation that makes a solution possible. I do hope that the Government will take this step. I think it is their duty to do so, and if, as I understand, it lies within their initiative to do it, it can be properly said, I think, that they have discharged their duty fully in the matter. Then, if in the full light of what takes place, a settlement is not reached, at any rate the Government and Parliament will have the satisfaction of knowing that
everything was done that could possibly have been done.

Topic:   SO, 1922
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