Edgar Nelson RHODES

RHODES, The Hon. Edgar Nelson, P.C., K.C., B.A., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Richmond--West Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
January 5, 1877
Deceased Date
March 15, 1942
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Nelson_Rhodes
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0ad88e35-0ebb-4dd8-9601-b39a599b36d1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
CON
  Cumberland (Nova Scotia)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
CON
  Cumberland (Nova Scotia)
  • Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons (February 3, 1916 - January 17, 1917)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (January 18, 1917 - March 7, 1922)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
UNION
  Cumberland (Nova Scotia)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (January 18, 1917 - March 7, 1922)
September 2, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Richmond--West Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Fisheries (August 7, 1930 - February 2, 1932)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (February 3, 1932 - October 22, 1935)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1460 of 1461)


February 5, 1909

Mr. RHODES.

As this is a question which affects a very large and important

element in my constituency, I would ask the minister to answer fully the question of my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) as to what complaints have been received by him from the labour organizations in various parts of the country. As I understood him, the only complaint which so far has reached his ears is the one voiced in an editorial which appeared in the Montreal ' Gazette.'

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE LEMIEUX LAW.
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February 5, 1909

Mr. RHODES.

This correspondent would not have been appointed at the instance of the labour union of our county because he is the editor of the Liberal paper in Amherst and has absolutely no knowledge of the labor question beyond what any ordinary individual might have. My remarks in respect to this correspondent are not made in any spirit of factious opposition, but I desire to find out if the department is endeavoring to get the men who are best adapted to make a report upon labour conditions. I would say with all deference that it would occur to me that there are many other men in that district who are much more competent to deal with labour conditions than the gentleman whose name I see here, although that gentleman is a very admirable man within his own particular sphere-that of newspaper work.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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February 5, 1909

Mr. RHODES..

I quite understand that the Department of Labour must receive many letters from individuals and that many of these would come from perhaps irresponsible parties. But it would seem to me that a resolution, under the seal of the grand council of a labour organization, representing the whole province, calling for an absolute repeal of the Act in so far as it affects that province, is one that the minister should not ignore, inasmuch as it should indicate to the department that there was something radically wrong in the working of the Act. I am not prepared to speak off-hand with respect to the Act itself, but I do know that the miners of Nova Scotia consider they are labouring under a very serious disadvantage because of its operation. They say precisely what President Gompers of the American Federation of Labour says respecting injunctions, namely, that the injunctions take from organized labour the only implement they have for obtaining redress of their wrongs. The miners of Nova Scotia point to many defects in the Act. In the first place, if a board of conciliation is called for by the men, they choose one arbitrator and the management chooses another.

These two meet and if they cannot agree then a third arbitrator must, under the wording of the Act, be chosen by the Labour Department. The labour men in my county object very strongly to that provision of the Act because they say it leaves a string upon the arbitration board, one end of which is in the hands of the Labour Department, and they say that the Act would be very materially improved if this third man were to be chosen by a judge of the Supreme Court rather, than by the Labour Department. In this way they claim that the third arbitrator would be chosen absolutely free from any influence or connivance on the part of the Labour Department. They suggest that another amendment would improve the Act. There is no compulsory means of causing a board of conciliation to view the workings of a mine for instance. We know that very frequently boards of conciliation are composed of men who although they may be able lawyers, or

professors of note, have no practical knowledge of the working of a mine, and in one or two instances, if I am correctly advised, the board has refused to go and view the workings. The union in my county suggests that a provision be inserted in the Act that either one party or the other can compel the board to go and view the workings.

A third amendment suggested and it seems to me most reasonable, is that if one party to the dispute fails to appear, as has happened in some cases, then the verdict shall go to the party who has called for the board and who appears, in precisely the same manner as does the verdict in a civil suit, if the defence does not appear there shall be a verdict by default.

A fourth amendment, and it is of vital importance to the man who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow, is a change in the fees allowed witnesses. Under the present Act the fees allowed for witnesses are about one-third of what the men would earn if they were enabled to do their day's work instead of having to appear before the board.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE LEMIEUX LAW.
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February 5, 1909

Mr. RHODES.

Quite so but it is a grievance nevertheless. It is all very well to say that this is the fee paid in the courts and that would perhaps apply if this were under the provincial government. Nevertheless it is a grievance that these men receive only a dollar and a half a day when if working they would receive $4 or $5 a day.

i regret that I cannot now place the case of the miners before the minister as I hope to later on; I mention these matters simply to indicate to the minister that there is a feeling in my county and throughout Nova Scotia of resentment towards this Act and a feeling that it is a means of undue oppression.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE LEMIEUX LAW.
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February 5, 1909

Mr. RHODES.

I am simply voicing the views of the miners in my constituency. I have offered no expression of my own opinion whatever.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE LEMIEUX LAW.
Full View Permalink