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that isn't worth a good road isn't worth and public benefit that flows from an inwhat it sells for, and soon won't be worth crease in business between the farmer and living in.
the banker. Official data shows that the To sum up, we are working to solve four farmer is getting as good treatment as his of our greatest state and national prob- town neighbor, but we must do more than lems — to check four of our greatest that if the farmer is to begin improved sources of waste: an impoverished soil, farming that shall be constructive alike impractical educational methods, lack of for agriculture and the Nation. farm organization, and poor roads. Per- We cannot afford to furnish money at haps the greatest accomplishment that has any price for “soil robbers," "land skimthus far been put to the credit of the mers,” and farm exploiters. The farmers Illinois Bankers' Association is that it has do not properly employ any large fraction awakened other associations to their re- of their present borrowings in constructive, sponsibilities and opportunities for useful- permanent, investment farming. The ness in these directions. We have parti- reason they do not is usually given somecipated in conferences called by bankers what like this: “Because the loans that in various sections of the country; and, at are available are for short periods, three our call, banker-farmers from twenty- to five years, and must be paid long four states met at New Orleans, where we before any material returns can be got were largely instrumental in getting the from the investment.” The facts, howgreat American Bankers' Association to ever, prove quite the contrary. Every appoint a permanent Committee on Agri- agricultural college bulletin, every farm culture and Financial Development and paper, and the practice of all progressive Education. The movement is already farmers are daily demonstrating that nation-wide.
almost all the newer methods will pay “But,” someone will ask, “have you themselves out at a profit in one, three, not overlooked the most important of all or five years at the most. the farmer's problems — his lack of ade- The American farmer has had great quate credit facilities?” Not at all. opportunities to invest his money more Indeed, the various aims of the banker- profitably outside than by putting it into farmer movement, which I have under- the funds of the loan societies, and this has taken to describe — particularly the aim helped to keep interest rates higher. And that contemplates the building up of a the independent and individualistic tendensoil reserve and the adoption of business- cies of our people make doubtful the suclike methods of agriculture - are in the cess of coöperative banking on any exfinal analysis the conditions precedent to tended scale, though it would, of course, be any change in our system of farm finance. interesting to see it tried out under proper
This problem of farm credit is precisely safeguard. The result might be beneficial the same as the problem of credit in any in developing business ability and vision other industry, except that the use of such among the farmers. farm credit as is already available is as It is timely to point out that all farm little known and efficiently employed as financing is intimately associated, or should is the soil. Honesty and good judgment, be, with the greater problem of a new .curwith an industrious application of both, rency system, the most pressing of all our are the basis of good credit. The good needs. With a modern banking and farmer, as the good business man, with currency system, there would be no obthese attributes of credit and with a good jection — indeed, there would be great farm on which to display them, makes advantage--in permitting national banks, an ideal debtor. We believe the majority especially rural national banks, to invest of country bankers appreciate this fact, at least 80 per cent. of all their savings dethough their appreciation of it does not posits, and the bulk of their surplus, in produce so much business as the fact good mortgages. The same privilege warrants. We want the country to know might well be extended to the Government's this and to know also the direct mutual system of postal savings banks. A sur
plus of 25 per cent. of its capital is all to $950,000,000. Our suggestion would, that is required of a national bank, where- therefore, enable the national banks to as permission to invest its surplus, or ex- take on a billion or more dollars in real
surplus, in approved mortgages estate security, and still not carry so would be a certain incentive for it to large a proportion as that which the state build up a large reserve. Such permission
banks now carry. would enable it properly to accommodate The farmer's need of improved farm nearly all desirable borrowers, and the in- financing is not so great as the whole creased surplus would give added strength country's need of a new currency and to the bank and added security to its credit system; and as the farmer's individdepositors, and in turn would increase ual requirements are comprehended in the the limit of its lending power. National
National larger plan for the whole people, he ought savings bank deposits total $750,000,000, to lend his influence to secure the legislaand surplus and undivided profits amount
tion needed for this purpose.
HOW CANADA PREVENTS STRIKES
ITS LAW THAT HAS PREVENTED ALL BUT EIGHTEEN STRIKES IN SIX YEARS ON THE
RAILROADS, ON PUBLIC UTILITIES, AND IN THE MINES
W. L. MACKENZIE KING
HERE is nothing revolution- the ends it seeks to serve, were 1 to tell ary
about the so-called something of the conditions that brought Canadian Industrial Disputes it into being, so that an American reader Investigation Act, which pro- may understand those conditions and vides the machinery that is
decide for himself whether or not thes used in Canada to prevent strikes and have been paralleled in the past or are lockouts and to bring about the settle- likely to be duplicated in the future on the ment of disputes between the labor and American side of the international froncapital of transportation agencies and of tier. I do not say that the Canadian Act mines and of other industries of public will solve even this one aspect of the labor service, as, for example, gas, electric light problem. I do not presume to suggest and power companies, and all other forms that it would be a good Act to adopt in the of public utility industries. Not only was United States. I shall endeavor simply to this Act of March, 1907, a direct and logical give a correct idea of its principles and of result of conditions in Canada at that time, its operation in my own country. and of experience previously gained in In the spring of 1906 the coal mines of meeting similar conditions, but it was also the province of Alberta ceased operations a direct and logical evolution from statutes in consequence of a strike. The strike already on the Canadian books and ran on all through the summer and late similar enactments which had been thor- into the fall. But few of the people in oughly tested and tried out in Great Brit- the vast territory lying between the Great ain. We were forced to look conditions Lakes and the Rocky Mountains realized in the face. We did it and evolved an Act what became so painfully obvious later. to meet those conditions and similar ones that the effect of the strike was not a local which we felt might arise in the future. matter at all, but that it cut off the supply
It might assist in an intelligent apprecia- of one of the most vital necessities of life tion of the main provisions of the Act and throughout a large part of the whole of
that great region. It was not until the your fellow subjects is in the electoral division cold of autumn foretold the approach of of Batoche - a name not unknown in history. winter that the people of that country This condition is not local but general. came suddenly to realize that they were
We are informed that those persons operating soon to be face to face with a Canadian
the mines of the people are disputing over their winter with practically no supply of fuel
rights, regardless of the right of the people to
live. I would respectfully ask that you, sir, on hand or obtainable. To show the
put an end to a dispute that is intolerable and condition as it developed, I quote herewith the maintenance of which endangers the life a letter addressed to the Right Honorable and happiness (inalienable rights of all free Sir Wilfrid Laurier, then Prime Minister people) of all settlers. of Canada, by one of the settlers in Sas- I ask you, sir, on behalf of a suffering people katchewan. In graphic relief, the situa- that by the powers vested in you the right of tion as it existed over miles and miles of eminent domain be exercised. sparsely settled prairie is depicted in this
I can assure you, sir, without exaggeration letter, and it is deserving of record for this, that this matter is one of life and death to the
settlers here, one requiring immediate action. if for no other reason. But more than
Your obedient humble servant, that, as the assertion by a free man of his
William L. RAMSAY. rights and of the obligations which as a
Chairman of Committee freeman he has the right to expect from the Local Improvement District of Ramsay, State it is, I think, an historic document. Saskatchewan, Nov. 19th, 1906.
DEAR SIR WILFRID:
This letter was but one of many similar The hamlet of Bladworth is the supplying communications received. point for settlers in approximately 12 townships I was, at the time, the Deputy Minister surrounding
of the Department of Labor of Canada, These townships have approximately 50 and while in this office had frequently settlers, each settled therein. The country is been called upon to intervene in industrial open rolling prairie, devoid of trees. The set. disputes that directly affected the public tlers depend for fuel on wood or coal obtained
welfare. Following precedent, I went to at the nearest railway station - Bladworth. The local dealers secure their wood from the Lethbridge on this occasion and there Prince Albert country, and their coal from the
encountered two difficulties which are Galt mines, Lethbridge. No coal has been almost always chiefly responsible for the obtained from this latter source since April ist. prolongation of industrial disputes. It One car was obtained from Banff in September was, in the first place, all but impossible last, since which no coal has been received here. to get the parties to the dispute to meet Ten cars are under orders from Lethbridge and together, and in the second place, when none delivered. One car is ordered from Este
at last they were brought together, it van and promised by the mine operator for
was difficult to obtain accurate informaDecember 17th next.
tion in regard to the points in dispute. Wood has been ordered from the Cowan Company, Prince Albert, and their answer is:
The question at issue at the beginning "We have neither slabs, edgings, nor cuttings, of this srike had almost ceased to be the and though we have inquired we are unable to
real issue at the time I reached Lethbridge. buy any cord wood as there is none in the city.” Instead, there had grown up innumerable
Settlers have been burning lumber at $30 petty disputes, many of them wholly a thousand, willow bramble, twisted hay, and personal, and the constant bickerings grain. These sources are well nigh exhausted. over these matters had created so much
Dr. J. Fyfe reports from observation that no bitterness, prejudice, and hatred, that the fuel is in the settlers' hands, and that suffering parties to the conflict seemed hopelessly and perhaps death will ensue therefrom. public schools are closed for want of fuel. The antagonistic. Studied at closer range, it Saskatchewan Hotel, a 30-roomed house, has
seemed a wholly unnecessary waste of but one fire.
capital, labor, and resources, and at the A blizzard has been blowing on November same time a criminal injustice to the 15th, 16th, and 17th, with zero weather. | public dependent upon the mines for their leave you, sir, to imagine what the condition of sources of heat and power.
After the strike was at last terminated, questions in dispute might be referred to a and after the necessities of the people in board empowered to conduct an investigation the Western provinces had been met, I
under oath, with the additional feature, perreturned to Ottawa and made a report to
haps, that such reference should not be optional Parliament, in which I emphasized the
but obligatory, and pending the investigatios advisability of devising means whereby parties be restrained, on pain of penalty, from
and until the board has issued its finding the (in disputes likely seriously to prejudice declaring a lockout or strike. the public welfare) the contending parties In view of past experience and the presets should be made to meet together and the situation I would, therefore, respectfully recomfacts made a matter of public record, where mend that the attention of Parliament be, at this might be necessary to prevent a as early a date as possible, invited to a 000lockout or strike, or to give to the public
sideration of some such or other measure with an intelligent appreciation of its cause in
a view of preventing a possible recurrence of the event of either taking place.
an experience such as this country has bees It was in the belief that these means,
forced to witness during the past month, and of
promoting in the interests of the whole people could they be found, would go a long way
the cause of industrial peace. toward maintaining industrial peace, and that it was the obvious duty of the State The experience of that year was sufto seek these means, that I wrote the re- ficient to ensure a sympathetic hearing port from which the three following para- from Parliament. Having been requested graphs are taken:
by the Prime Minister to draft my recom
mendations in the form of a bill, I did so, When it is remembered that organized Society making abundant use in some of the secalone makes possible the operation of mines to tions of existing legislation in Canada and the mutual benefit of those engaged in the work other countries, and supplementing these of production, a recognition of the obligations by such additional provisions as experdue Society by the parties is something which ience seemed to indicate would be in the the State is justified in compelling if the parties
public interest. themselves are unwilling to concede it. In any
The Department of Labor was not, at civilized community private rights should cease when they become public wrongs. Clearly,
that date, as it now is, a separate departthere is nothing in the rights of parties to a
ment of the Government of Canada, but dispute to justify the inhabitants of a province the portfolio of Minister of Labor was being brought face to face with a fuel famine held by the Postmaster General. The amid winter conditions so long as there is coal Honorable Rodolphe Lemieux, M. P.. in the ground and men and capital at hand to was Postmaster General and Minister of mine it. Either the disputants must be pre- Labor, and on December 17th, almost pared to leave the differences which they are within a month of the date of Mr. Ramunable to settle amicably to the arbitrament of
say's letter to Sir Wilfrid Laurier quoted such authority as the State may determine
above, Mr. Lemieux presented to Parliamost expedient, or make way for others who
ment the bill embodying the principles are prepared to do so. Inasmuch as coal is in this country one of the
and provisions I have outlined. It passed foremost necessaries, on which not only a great
rapidly, practically without amendment, part of the manufacturing and transportation through the House of Commons and Senate industries, but also, as the recent experience and received the Royal Assent on March has shown, much of happiness and life itself 22d, becoming law from that time. depend, it would appear that if legislation can As indicated, the bill had its genesis in be devised, which, without encroaching upon the coal mine strike, and strong arguments the recognized rights of employers and employ- in favor of it were based upon the situation ees, will at the same time protect the public, created and the needs of the people in the the State would be justified in enacting any winter of 1906. But the bill itself was measure which will make the strike or lockout in a coal mine a thing of the past. Such an
made broad enough to include not coal end, it would appear, might be achieved, at least
mines only, but all other enterprises in part, were provision made whereby, as in the which enter into the services of the public. case of the Railway Labor Disputes Act, all The underlying idea of it is that any cor
poration, firm, or individual, doing busi- ference. If no settlement is effected, the ness in what has come to be a necessity of board publishes a report of the dispute. life or essential to the public welfare. This is given to the press and public and must not allow that industry to be para- sent broadcast throughout the land. It lyzed and its function rendered useless sets out the board's opinion of the real through any dispute without first having trouble, and what, in its opinion, ought to made every reasonable effort to settle the be done to prevent a strike or a lockout. dispute, and, at any rate, made the cause There the function of the Government of the dispute a public record.
ends. There is no compulsion on either The provisions of the Act are very simple. party to accept the finding of the board. Whenever a strike or lockout is threatened There is no restraint on the parties. Once in any one of these industries, the parties, they have had this inquiry, they may do if unable to adjust their differences ami- just as they please about the strike or cably, must refer them to a board for lockout. It has so often been thought by settlement before such a strike or lockout persons who are not familiar with its procan legally take place. If the men are
visions that this Act is in a sense an act going to strike, they must serve a notice of compulsory arbitration, that I am glad on the Government that unless a board is to take this opportunity of pointing out appointed a strike will take place. If the that there is not the slightest compulsion management proposes a lockout, it must placed upon either labor or capital as a serve a similar notice on the Government. result of an investigation conducted under The notice will say that all possible means its provisions. of arriving at a settlement have been When I say there is no compulsion I exhausted and pray the Government to mean, of course, no legal compulsion. appoint a board of investigation. The There is the restraint which the law imnotice served on the Government must poses of delaying an interruption to incontain a statement of the differences be- dustry before and pending inquiry, and tween the parties and a copy of that there is, once an investigation has taken statement must also go to the other party place, the restraining influence of public to the dispute.
opinion intelligently formed. If, after When such a notice has been served, in investigation, any company, or any group compliance with the terms of the Act, the of labor, operating a public utility of any Minister of Labor calls on each of the sort, cares to tie up that public utility so parties to name a member of the board. that the public have not full and complete These two members have the opportunity use of it, the public at least knows what to name a third member who shall be the the causes of the disputes are, and also chairman. If they are unable to agree has an opinion concerning what seems to within a reasonable time, the Minister of be the right and the fair thing to do under Labor himself appoints a chairman. If the circumstances. This restraining ineither party fails to name a member of the fluence of public opinion we have found in board, the Minister of Labor appoints Canada a very powerful aid to industrial some one to serve on the board as the peace; in the last analysis, it is a most representative of the party defaulting in powerful element in settling all conflicts making an appointment.
between capital and labor. The board has all the powers of a court This original Act of 1907 has been of record. It may compel the production slightly amended since its introduction. of documents; it may subpæna witnesses; As Minister of Labor, I introduced in 1910 it may take evidence under oath; but its an amendment to compel a thirty days' duty is primarily that of a conciliation notice to be given by either company or board and a board of inquiry and only men, where any change of wages or of secondarily that of a court.
hours of labor is proposed. The change, if After meeting, if a settlement can be objected to, cannot go into effect till an effected, the board simply reports to the inquiry has taken place. This clause Government the settlement of the dif- gives the men opportunity, in case the