January 25, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Abraham Albert Heaps



I do not object to his sitting at home. Mr. Kyte said:
Knowing the conditions in Sydney at the present time I accept the statement attributed to Mr. McLurg in this despatch; there is no doubt or question about it. But my right hon. friend and his friends will doubt it, and I question whether they will be very highly elated when they find that the statement made here is true. The question of unemployment, therefore, is about settled so far as Sydne3r and Glace Bay are concerned. If this despatch is true, and I believe it is; if the steel plant will soon be working on a basis of one hundred per cent production, then there will be employment for every steel worker in the city of Sydney and for every coal miner in the county of Cape Breton.
Within twelve months of this statement being made by one of the former representatives of Cape Breton, we are again faced with the situation that there is more trouble in that area. We were told in this Statement that if at that time the question could only be settled-and we were assured it was-there would be no further unemployment amongst the steel workers or coal miners of Cape

Nova Scotia Miners
Breton. What do we find? We find that to-day there is the same acute problem in Cape Breton as there was a vear ago. and I am satisfied that so long as the British Empire Steel Corporation remains in Nova Scotia the same situation will exist there.
Last summer, when the question of relief was so acute, I received a letter from a lady in the mining area of Nova Scotia, and perhaps it is worth while giving the substance of that communication. She said:
Before Besco came into Nova Scotia we did not know what poverty or trouble was in this particular area; but since Besco has come in, we have always had trouble in this particular district.
That seems to sum up the situation fairly well. Since the British Empire Steel Corporation became organized it has always been a question of a fight either between the government and Besco or between Besco and the men who are in its employ. There was a time not very long ago when Besco threatened the citv of Sydney, telling the people of that city that if they, Besco, could not get their way they would allow grass to grow in the streets of Sydney. Any corporation which has the power to threaten a city like Sydney should not be allowed to continue in business). If they can make such threats to a city and! then come here and make further threats as they have done for quite a time, then I say that it is time there was a policy not only on the part of this government but on the part of the government of Nova Scotia as well. The question is, therefore, is Besco going to rule Nova Beotia, or are the common people of Nova Scotia going to rule?
At six o'clock the House took recess.
After Recess
The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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