Mr. II. G. MACPHERSON (Burrard).
wish simply to accentuate, if possible, the remarks of the hou. member for Vancouver (Mr. Smith), because we have very few men in Canada who can speak as strongly or with as much authority on the subject of trades' unions and the actual working of trades' unions in connection with coal mines as that lion, member. But I do not wish to bring into the discussion any extraneous matters. We in British Columbia, as you are probably aware, are face to face with many labour troubles, which are practically threatening our existence as a province, and I trust that the Minister of Labour will see his way to appoint a commission to investigate the causes which have led to these troubles. I am in receipt of letters every day, from all classes of people and from all parts of the province, calling attention to the terrible state of affairs which exists there, and which, if it is not soon remedied, will have a very serious effect on the industrial life of that province. We had a strike on the Canadian Pacific Railway, which began in a small way in Vancouver, and I am told that strike was caused by the refusal of the company to recognize the right of the clerks to form a union. I
do not wish to discuss the question of trades unions. I think we all recognize that men have a right to combine; and if the strike in question was brought on by the refusal of the company to recognize the union, I think there ought to be an investigation of it. Although the strike began in a small way, it may lead to very serious consequences, because a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. The province of British Columbia is a province of great natural resources and is capable of sustaining a large population; but it is not going ahead in the way that it ought to do, and I think these labour troubles have a good deal to do with that fact. I do not suppose that it is necessary for me to say that if these labour disputes existed in the eastern part of Canada, the government would take immediate steps to settle them. Our whole province is practically upset because of them. We have strikes at Fernie, on Vancouver island, and on the mainland. I do not undertake to suggest a remedy ; but I think that if a commission were appointed as suggested, to make an investigation and report to this parliament, some good might result. I am not speaking for any class or any company, but for the whole people of British Columbia, when I say that we must have some remedy, and the remedy must be applied at once.
Topic: SUPPLY-LABOUR TROUBLES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.