June 26, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


Alan Webster Neill


Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

The hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine), in introducing this resolution, has stressed the point that he has the support of organized labour. Last week, and again yesterday afternoon, I introduced an amendment to another clause of this bill which would have resulted in prohibiting orientals from voting in British Columbia. That amendment has the sanction of every organized labour body in British Columbia. It has the sanction of all unorganized labour in British Columbia and of a very large proportion of people who are not classified as labour or unorganized labour in that province. But I failed to get any support for that amendment on either of those occasions from the hon gentleman who now threatens us with what organized labour will do or think if we do not, support his amendment. Moreover, when I brought in that amendment, I think it is within the knowledge of the House, I couched it in respectful language as respects the government and as anxious only to see it accepted. I did not challenge the government to reject it nor use offensive language in connection with it. Therefore, I think it would have been more appropriate if the hon. member for East. Calgary had supported that amendment than, for him to ask me to join him now in his wholesale condemnation of the government before he sees what the government are going to do. I would feel inclined to support 'this amendment if it is a thing that will benefit labour, for after all, why should I not do so? I have been a workingman all my life, and I am yet as far as that goes. I would be more willing to do it if I had some assurance that the money so collected from those labour unions would be used for the election of labour representatives in this House who would devote their time and energy to the initiation of really useful constructive legislation- for the benefit of the working men and women of Canada, and not of representatives who indulge in the theoretical shadow-chasing and vague glittering generalities that we have-listened to for the last four years.

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