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Western Federation of Miners and the Royal Commission on Industrial Disputes in 1903 with special reference… Orr, Allan Donald 1968

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THE WESTERN FEDERATION OF MINERS AND THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES IN 1903 WITH SPECIAL BEFERENCE TO THE VANCOUVER ISLAND COAL MINERS' STRIKE by A l l a n Donald Orr B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1958 A Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l m e n t of the "Requirements f o r the Degree of Master of A r t s i n the Department of H i s t o r y We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard. The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia A p r i l , 1968 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o lumbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a gree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p urposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n -t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada The Western Federation of Miners and The Royal Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n 1903 A b s t r a c t The Dominion government appointed a Royal Commission i n A p r i l 1903 to i n v e s t i g a t e the causes of s t r i k e s that began i n February between the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company and the United Brotherhood of Railway Employees at Vancouver and the W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r y Company and the Western Federation of Miners at Exten s i o n and Cumberland on Vancouver I s l a n d . The B o y a l Commissioners were i n s t r u c t e d to r e p o r t whether i n t h e i r o p i n i o n these and other American unions should have t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s i n Canada c u r t a i l e d . A f t e r a month of hearings the Commissioners reported t h a t the United Brotherhood and the Western Federation were undesirable unions f o r Canadian workingmen to join. The Commissioners concluded t h a t both unions had conspired t o bring about s t r i k e s i n the W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r y mines. The Nanaimo Miners' Union, L o c a l 177 of the Western F e d e r a t i o n , was accused by the Commissioners of a s s i s t i n g i n the conspiracy t o t i e up the c o a l mines i n the adjacent towns. As the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company depended i n part on the W e l l i n g t o n mines f o r steam c o a l f o r i t s t r a i n s at Vancouver, i t was apparent - i -- i i -th a t the unions concerned t r i e d t o break the s t r i k e f o r r e c o g n i t i o n between the r a i l w a y company and the union i n favour of the union. The Commissioners a l s o reported that these American unions were spreading r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o c i a l i s m i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The main r e s u l t of t h i s p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n , concluded the Commissioners, was t o i n s t i l i n workingmen a b e l i e f i n the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of c l a s s c o n f l i c t between themselves and t h e i r employers. The t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and mining i n d u s t r i e s of the province were i n danger of having t h e i r businesses s e r i o u s l y d i s r u p t e d i f these f o r e i g n unions remained i n Canada. The Commissioners stated that a few s o c i a l i s t s i n Vancouver, Nanaimo, Extension and Cumberland were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r encouraging these r a d i c a l unions to organize the workers. The q u e s t i o n as to whether the Western Federation a c t u a l l y caused the s t r i k e s on the i s l a n d has never been s e r i o u s l y explored. H i s t o r i a n s have been d i v i d e d on the question and on t h e i r assessment of the v a l i d i t y of the Commissioners' 'Report. The o f f i c i a l hearings d i s c l o s e d t h a t James Dunsmuir, the president and owner of Wellington C o l l i e r i e s , l ocked out h i s miners once they had formed unions. The Commissioners argued that the conspiracy p l a n depended on the p r e d i c t a b l e r e a c t i o n of Dunsmuir to the formation of unions i n h i s mines. I n the past he had never permitted unions t o e x i s t f o r long i n h i s mines before he dismissed the union l e a d e r s . I t has never been s a t i s f a c t o r i l y demonstrated - i i i -whether the miners j o i n e d the Western Federation f o r reasons of t h e i r own and then s t r u c k f o r union r e c o g n i t i o n or whether they were, as the Commissioners a l l e g e d , t r i c k e d i n t o the Feder a t i o n only to f i n d themselves locked out. The Commissioners admitted i n the Report that W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s and other l a r g e employers of labour bore some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the f a c t t h a t working men organized unions i n order to p r o t e c t themselves from the a r b i t r a r y and unjust treatment they o f t e n r e c e i v e d from managers and foremen. Although the Commissioners s t a t e d t h a t shorter hours and higher wages would make workingmen more content, they d i d not re p o r t that grievances over working c o n d i t i o n s and wages were the r e a l reasons why the miners j o i n e d the Western Fe d e r a t i o n . Yet the o f f i c i a l hearings of 1903 contained ample evidence that the s t r i k e s at Extension and Cumberland occurred f o r reasons that l a y p r i m a r i l y w i t h i n and not outside the c o a l f i e l d . The Commissioners m i s i n t e r p r e t e d the reasons why the miners j o i n e d the Western Fed e r a t i o n because t h e i r a t t e n -t i o n was d i r e c t e d s o l e l y to the i s s u e of the advance of American unions i n t o Canada. An a n a l y s i s of the o f f i c i a l evidence of the Commission r e v e a l s that the miners formed unions at We l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s i n 1903 i n order t o r e s o l v e problems that had become t r a d i t i o n a l sources of dispute on the c o a l f i e l d . The t r a d i t i o n a l problems that embittered r e l a t i o n s - i v -between miners and companies were g e o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l and economic i n ch a r a c t e r . The f a u l t e d c o n d i t i o n of the c o a l seams made mining both d i f f i c u l t and dangerous. Since 1871 W e l l i n g t o n miners had organized unions to f i g h t f o r improve-ments i n s a f e t y and working c o n d i t i o n s underground. However, the i n c r e a s e d employment of i l l i t e r a t e and inexperienced O r i e n t a l workers increased the dangers of mining to a l l concerned. Miners demanded the e x c l u s i o n of O r i e n t a l workers from the mines f o r another important reason than the question of s a f e t y . O r i e n t a l workers competed f o r the jobs of mine labourers and were o f t e n used i n place of white miners during s t r i k e s . During s t r i k e s i n 1877, i n 1883 and i n 1903 Chinese workers kept the mines running while white miners were locked out. In c o n t r a s t to the W e l l i n g t o n mines, unions emerged at the Nanaimo mines and working c o n d i t i o n s s t e a d i l y improved a f t e r 1883. A miners' union grievance committee was estab-l i s h e d i n the mines by I883. An eight hour day, o r i e n t a l e x c l u s i o n and union r e c o g n i t i o n were i n e f f e c t i n the Nanaimo mines by 1891. Attempts by union leaders from Nanaimo i n the years 1890 t o 1901 f a i l e d i n t h e i r purpose of org a n i z i n g the Dunsmuir mines. When the Nanaimo miners j o i n e d the Western Fed e r a t i o n of Miners i n 1902 i n order to improve t h e i r weak bargaining power, miners i n the adjacent Dunsmuir mines saw t h e i r opportunity to j o i n the Fe d e r a t i o n , d i t h the f i n a n c i a l and moral support of a l a r g e union behind them the Dunsmuir miners demanded union r e c o g n i t i o n as the f i r s t step i n t h e i r p l a n to neg o t i a t e improvements i n wages and working c o n d i t i o n s . - i v a -V CONTENTS Page Map of the Vancouver I s l a n d C o a l f i e l d . v i i In t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter I The R i s e of Miners' Trade Unions on the C o a l f i e l d : 1871-1883 33 I I The Knights of Labour and the Emergence of the Miners' and Mine Labourers' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n : l88*f-l891 52 I I I The Miners 1 and Mine Labourers' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n and the Dunsmuir Mines: 1892-1901. . 79 IV The Royal Commission of 1903 and the Conspiracy of the Western Federation of Miners at Extension Mines 113-V The Royal Commission of 1903 and the Conspiracy of the Western Federation at Cumberland l¥+ VI The Royal Commission Hearings at Extension and Cumberland and the Termination of the S t r i k e s . . 167 V I I The Recommendations and Conclusions of the Report of the Royal Commission 183 B i b l i o g r a p h y . . • 195 Appendices • 208 - v i -Acknowledgement Throughout the p e r i o d from the i n c e p t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s to i t s f i n a l p r e p a r a t i o n , Dr. Ormsby gave the w r i t e r many hours of in d i s p e n s a b l e c r i t i c i s m . Whatever h i s t o r i c a l value the t h e s i s may have i s due i n l a r g e measure to the k i n d advice the w r i t e r r e c e i v e d from Dr. Ormsby. -Approximate Limits Of Area Underlain By Workable Coal Seams. ADAPTED FROM A. F. BUCHAM, "THE NANAIMO COALFIELD OF B. C," GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF CANADA, PAPER U7-22 (MAP), 19U7. Introduction In h i s t o r i c a l studies of the B r i t i s h Columbia labour movement two themes have persisted. One emphasizes the economic influences that have been exerted by the American labour movement on organized labour i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The second theme i s that immigrant labour from the United Kingdom has exerted a formative influence on the economic and p o l i t i c a l ambitions of B r i t i s h Columbia labour, f i r s t i n the seeking of higher wages and i n r e l y i n g generally on union organization to a t t a i n them, and secondly, i n f o s t e r i n g the W.J. Trimble deals with the period before 1890 i n The Mining  Advance i n t o the Inland Empire(Mew York, 19lk). Rodman Paul's study of the mining f r o n t i e r deals almost exclusively with events to the south of the *+9th p a r a l l e l and indicates the antecedents of the Western Federation: Mining Frontiers of  the Far West:18**8-1880(New York, I963). The standard work on the Western Federation and the Mine, M i l l and Smelter workers south of the hyth p a r a l l e l i s Vernon H.Jensen's Heritage of Conflict(New York, 1950). A number of studies bear d i r e c t l y or i n part on the 1890-191^ period. Bescoby, Isobel, M., "Some Aspects of the American Mining Advance into the Cariboo and Kootenay,"M.A. Thesis, Vancouver, U.B.C., 1935. Ware, N.J., e t . a l . , Labour i n Canadian American  Relations(Toronto. 1937). Innis, H.A., Settlement and the  Mining Frontier(Toronto« 1936). Hansen, Marcus, L., and Brebner, John, B., The Mingling of Canadian and American  Peoples(New Haven, 19^0).Howay, F.W., and Sage,W.N., and Angus, H.F., B r i t i s h Columbia and the United States(Toronto. 19fe). Church, J.S., "Mining Companies i n the V/est Kootenay and Boundary "Regions of B.C.:l890-1900," M.A. Thesis,Vancouver, U.B.C., 1961. - 1 -- 2 -growth of independent labour and s o c i a l i s t movements i n the province.^ There i s no question that American miners and c a p i t a l entered B r i t i s h Columbia i n substantial quantities i n the 19th 3 century. Many historians have documented th i s f a c t . In the c o l o n i a l period thousands of American prospectors entered and took part i n the gold rush on the Fraser River i n 1858. Later, about 1890, i n the East and West Kootenay regions and boundary country, a new wave of American miners, technicians and c a p i t a l i s t s entered the province. The f i r s t American unionists to appear i n the Kootenays were almost c e r t a i n l y "refugees" b l a c k l i s t e d i n I892 i n the mines of Bunker H i l l and Su l l i v a n i n the Coeur d'Alene region of Idaho. Three years l a t e r the Kootenay miners requested the agents of the Western Federation of Miners, formed at Butte, Montana i n I893, to give them a B r i t i s h influences have been discussed i n a number of studies of the province but no special study has been made. L.G. Reynolds' study deals mainly with eastern Canada: The B r i t i s h  Immigrant: His S o c i a l and Economic Adjustment to Canada (Oxford,1935). Grantham, Ronald, "Some Aspects of the S o c i a l i s t Movement i n B.C.," M.A. Thesis, Vancouver, U.B.C, 19^2. Saywell, John T., "Labour and Socialism i n B r i t i s h Columbia: An H i s t o r i c a l Survey to 1903," B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly, July-October, 1951. Loosemore, T.H., "B.C.Labor and P o l i t i c a l Action : l 8 7 9 - 1 9 0 6 , » M.A. Thesis, Vancouver, U.B.C.,^^. Steeves.D.G..The Compassionate Rebel (Vancouver, i960). Fox, Paul, "Early Socialism i n Canada," i n J.H. Aitchison,ed*>, The P o l i t i c a l Process i n Canada(Toronto. 1963), pp.79-99. 3 See footnote 1. Jensen, o p . c i t . . p.21. - 3 -c h a r t e r of a f f i l i a t i o n . The f i r s t l o c a l of the Western Fe d e r a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia r e c e i v e d i t s c h a r t e r at Rossland 5 i n I895. By I899 a s u f f i c i e n t number of l o c a l unions e x i s t e d I n the Kootenay r e g i o n t o permit the o r g a n i z a t i o n of a semi-autonomous D i s t r i c t A s s o c i a t i o n . Up t o I 8 9 9 no s t r i k e s were reported i n the Kootenays and boundary r e g i o n . From I 8 9 9 to 1903, however, the Federa-t i o n became i n v o l v e d i n long and c o s t l y s t r i k e s i n the metal and c o a l mining towns of the province. There were many causes of these disputes but the demand by the miners f o r a t l e a s t de f a c t o r e c o g n i t i o n of the union l a y c l o s e t o the heart of most of them. In I 8 9 9 the Slocan V a l l e y miners s t r u c k f o r an eight hour day without r e d u c t i o n i n pay. The mine owners responded by l o c k i n g out the miners and importing s t r i k e 6 breakers from the United S t a t e s . One r e s u l t of t h i s s t r i k e was that the p r o v i n c i a l government enacted an e i g h t hour law f o r the metal mines of the province. The i n t r o d u c t i o n of the e i g h t hour day was not c r i t i c i z e d by the Rossland companies i n I899 as i t was by those i n the Slocan. But the Slocan miners' demand f o r a r e d u c t i o n i n hours without a r e d u c t i o n i n pay and the expecta-t i o n t h a t the Rossland miners would make the same demand seem 5 See Appendix.pp.208-9.The C o n s t i t u t i o n and By-Laws of the Rossland M i n e r s 1 Union, Adopted, I896. ^ Woodside, Frank, L e t t e r Concerning I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n the Kootenays, August, 20, 1901. S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s L i b r a r y , UBC„ Testimony of C h r i s F o l e y , formerly an executive o f f i c e r of the Western Fed e r a t i o n i n Minutes of Evidence. Royal Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1903, Ottawa, 190*4-, pp. 669-80. Bennett, W i l l i a m , B u i l d e r s  of B r i t i s h Columbia (Vancouver, 1937)? p,13o. - If -to have been the reasons the B r i t i s h America Corporation took acti o n . The company was the largest i n Rossland and the owner of the Le Roi mines. In January 1900 the company changed managers and then replaced the s t a f f from assistant manager down to s h i f t boss. In February the company announced i t was closi n g down temporarily f o r r e p a i r s . According to the secretary of the Rossland Miners' Union the shutdown was i n preparation fo r an assault on the wage system5 when the mines re-opened i n A p r i l the company stipulated that miners would receive payment by the ton. In t h i s way the company escaped the c o s t l y effects of the eight hour law. As the company knew the miners were completely opposed to the contract system of payment by the ton, the company introduced labour spies i n t o the mines to disrupt the union. Union men were gradually b l a c k l i s t e d In the company's mines. To further weaken the union the company imported immigrant European miners from Minnesota i n such numbers that the Western Federation of Miners at Rossland was about ready to collapse because of the decline i n i t s member-ship. Then i n July 1 9 0 1 the union c a l l e d a s t r i k e . Immediately A new members r a l l i e d to the union's cause. The union received moral support when s i x of the smaller mines around Rossland granted the union demands fo r hourly work and company recogni-t i o n of the Western Federation as the legitimate bargaining agents for the miners. But t h i s moral support was ine f f e c t i v e ? B r i t i s h America c a r r i e d on i t s new p o l i c y despite the s t r i k e - 5 -7 which lasted f o r eight months. The importation of non-union poorly s k i l l e d workers from the eastern United States was a tremendous source of grievance and concern to the union miners. As the Western Federation i n the United States had to deal with the same problem i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with t h e i r employers, the Rossland miners depended on the permanent o f f i c e r s of the union to f i n d ways of stopping the flow of s t r i k e breakers coming west. Writing of t h i s aspect of company p o l i c y i n the west i n 1901, the secretary of the Rossland Miner's Union commented b i t t e r l y : "There i s no *f9th p a r a l l e l of l a t i t u d e i n Unionism, The Canad-ian and American workingmen have joined hands across the 8 Boundary l i n e f o r a common cause against a common enemy." Though the importation of s t r i k e breakers v i o l a t e d the Canadian A l i e n Contract Labour Act, the union i n Rossland did not have any success i n having the Act enforced. One of the executive o f f i c e r s of the Rossland union went to Spokane i n 1901 to inform incoming s t r i k e breakers that a s t r i k e was i n progress i n Rossland. In Vancouver i n 1903 he had an opportunity to f i n d out how e f f e c t i v e the Act was intended to be i n protecting ? Woodside, Ib i d . The Labour Gazette gave as the cause of the s t r i k e the r e f u s a l of the Company to recognize the Western Federation of Miners as the miners 1 union. The contract issue was also discussed, Canada, Department of Labour, Labour Gazette. Ottawa, v o l . 1 , 1901, pp.362-36*f. See also P h i l l i p s , Paul, No Power Greater (Vancouver. 1967)pp .33-3 1+. Woodside, l o c . c i t . 6 -Canadian labour. He questioned the Deputy Minister of Labour, W.L.M. King, whose department was i n part responsible for implementing the Act. Question (by Chris Foley). Take the case of Rossland. Many of these men came from Missouri and Michigan. In order that you s h a l l discover the exact f a c t s of the case i t i s necessary that a man should be sent down to f i n d out where these men come from. Why was not some arrangement made by the government to appoint some o f f i c i a l ? — A n s w e r . Mr.Foley, I have not the making of the laws. Question. Can you t e l l me why I was t o l d by the Minister of J u s t i c e and Mr.Sifton that a man would go down to Missouri?—Answer. That i s beyond my province. Question. Is there no law either i n the Dominion or p r o v i n c i a l governments that forces an o f f i c i a l to enforce t h i s law? Was there any understanding arrived at between the Dominion and p r o v i n c i a l government as to how t h i s law should be enforced by o f f i c i a l s ? — Answer. Absolutely none that I know of. The law was simply passed by the Dominion government and c e r t a i n machinery provided.... Question. I may say that the union at Rossland appealed to the Attorney General and he refused to take the matter up. They took the matter up and secured a conviction, and before the conviction was returned the gentleman was on the other side. He came i n under a contract to operate the company for the Le Roi." To. Foley's complaint that the company was free to break the law, Mr. King r e p l i e d that "the law was worth a l l i t was intended to be worth." In A p r i l 1902 at a labour p o l i t i c a l convention i n Kamloops, to which twenty l o c a l s of the Federation had sent representatives, the importation of American workers under contract to Canadian corporations was discussed. The convention "viewed with indignation the r e f u s a l of the Attorney General Minutes of Evidence, op.c i t . , pp.6?l-672. - 7 -General of t h i s Province and the Minister of Justice to 10 enforce the A l i e n Contract Law," and recommended the enact-ment of a law making i t compulsory for the government to enforce the law against those who broke i t . The coal miners of B r i t i s h Columbia had watched the struggle of the Federation i n the i n t e r i o r i n 1901 and 1902 with mounting i n t e r e s t . Isolated i n the Far West from the eastern United Mine Workers of America, the coa l miners of the province entered the Federation of 50,000 metaliferous miners mainly because the Federation could give bargaining strength to those who worked fo r large and powerful coal companies. The Federation organized the coal miners of the Crow's Nest Pass region i n A p r i l 1901. Crossing the S t r a i t s of Georgia to the coal mines on Vancouver Island, the p r o v i n c i a l organizer, James Baker, formed l o c a l s at Nanaimo i n December 1902, at Extension mines near Ladysmith and at Union mines at Cumberland i n March and A p r i l 1903. The a f f i l i a t i o n with the Federation ended the regional I s o l a t i o n of the coa l miners on Vancouver Island who had blamed their f a i l u r e to wring concessions from their employers on the f a c t that they had weak l o c a l unions ."^ In 1903 the c o a l , metal mining and transportation industries of the province experienced disruption as a r e s u l t of labour disputes involving the Western Federation. In August ^° Loosemore, op.cit . , Platform of the P r o v i n c i a l Progressive Party, Appendix. 1 1 Nanaimo Herald. August 20, 1902.AMinutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . p.59, p.326, p.352, p.391, pJ+T+IT" - 8 -1 9 0 2 the Crow's Nest Pass miners had struck f o r improvements i n inspection of the mines, an eight hour day and an increase i n wages. The dispute took place af t e r a mine explosion at Fernie k i l l e d 12h miners whose places were f i l l e d with imported labourers from the eastern United States. The s t r i k e ended quickly af t e r the company promised to s a t i s f y the miners' demands. The subsequent f a i l u r e of the company to implement the terms of the agreement and i t s r e f u s a l to deal with the representatives of the union l e d to another s t r i k e which 1 2 l a s t e d from February to the end of March 1 9 0 3 . For two months the coke supplies used by the large Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company i n Rossland were i n short supply. To s e t t l e the s t r i k e , the p r o v i n c i a l government sent a three man mining commission which was f i n a l l y successful i n mediating the dispute. Then i n Vancouver on February 2 7 , 1 9 0 3 j the employees of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway struck over the company's dismissal of members of the new union, the United Brotherhood of Railway Employees. Although the company imported non-union workers from Seattle to replace s t r i k i n g employees and was never short of c o a l f o r i t s t r a i n s and ships, the s t r i k e became serious when i t extended to the f r e i g h t handlers. When on March 8 and May 2 the coal miners employed by Wellington Collieries Ltd. at Extension and Cumberland mines struck f o r Labour Gazette, v o l . I l l , 1 9 0 3 , pp. 6 7 3 - 6 7 8 . - 9 -increased wages and recognition of the Western Federation of Miners, i t appeared that the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway might soon be short of c o a l . There was no suggestion that the s t r i k e i n the i n t e r i o r was linked to the s t r i k e s on the coast, but there was evidence that the United Brotherhood had intrigued with the Western Federation to persuade the i s l a n d 13 coal miners to s t r i k e i n sympathy with the railway employees. The question of i n t r i g u e soon opened up into a s i g n i f i c a n t controversy. Neither James Dunsmuir, President of Wellington C o l l i e r i e s Ltd., nor R. Marpole, Superintendent of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company i n Vancouver, would recognize the r i g h t of t h e i r employees to j o i n either of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l unions or accept the recommendations of c o n c i l i a t i o n committees from either government or business as long as th e i r employees i n s i s t e d on remaining members of the new unions. As March ended with the companies refusing to t a l k with representatives of the unions, long s t r i k e s seemed possible. Reports appeared i h the press that the Western Federation and the United Brotherhood were i n a conspiracy to impose t h e i r "foreign" Canada, Department of Labour, Report of the Royal Commission  on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia  i n 1903. Ottawa. 1903, PP. 37-^-8. Testimony of James Dunsmuir, Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t , p.2^7. Statements of Mr.Marpole i n Vancouver Province. March 7-9, 1903, p . l . - 1 0 -15 and " s o c i a l i s t i c " unions on the industries of the province. ' Both companies agreed with t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . A more damaging rumour mentioned i n the press was that the two unions had been used by American companies to r a i s e the prices of t h e i r products and services i n the United S t a t e s . ^ Marpole stated that one of his objections to the United Brotherhood was that the union might be used by American transportation companies to disrupt the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway and gain 17 business i n Canada. Wellington C o l l i e r i e s used the same argument with reference to American coal companies i n i t s •I Q o f f i c i a l statement of objections to the Western Federation. Although no evidence was ever produced to v e r i f y these rumours, the statements by the companies had t h e i r e f f e c t on a Royal Commission sent to investigate the s t r i k e s . The Commission's Report to the f e d e r a l government condemned any ;strike i n Canada which was caused by the "foreign interference" of American union leaders who were i n the pay of American 15 Nanaimo Free Press. March 3» March 1 3 . 1903, p . l . The Press described Mr. Dunsmuir's allegations "rubbish." I t claimed that he chose the issue of foreign interference because i t was the only one the public might be prepared to believe. March l 6 , p . 8 . See also the V i c t o r i a Dally C o l o n i s t . March 1 5 . 1 9 0 3 . p . l , interview with James Dunsmuir. 1 6 Rossland Miner. March lk, 1 9 0 3 , p . l . V i c t o r i a Daily Colonist. March 1 8 , 1 9 0 3 ,p.8 . Cumberland News. March 2k, 1 9 0 3,p . 8 . The News reported that Mr.Dunsmuir did not believe the Federation was involved with the copper t r u s t i n the United States. Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . p.769« 1 8 Ibid., p. 7^7. - 11 c a p i t a l i s t s . Without evidence to prove that such misdeeds ever took place, the condemnation merely j u s t i f i e d the ar b i t r a r y r e f u s a l of the companies to deal with the unions i n question. While the breach between the unions and the companies widened, a debate on increasing i n d u s t r i a l unrest i n B r i t i s h Columbia took place on A p r i l 3 i n the Canadian House of Commons. The s t r i k e at Wellington C o l l i e r i e s prompted Ralph Smith, Liberal-Labour M.P. for Nanaimo, to ask the Minister of Labour, S i r William Mulock, f o r a Royal Commission to investigate the st r i k e and "lay the facts before the public." In asking for a Royal Commission Smith indicated what he thought "the f a c t s " would r e v e a l : ...the men employed i n these mines made up their minds that they would have a trade union, that they would a f f i l i a t e that trade union with the i n t e r -national on the other side of the l i n e . For t h i s reason the owners of the company discharged the o f f i c e r s of the union, closed down the mines, and they have disorganized a happy community of nearly *f,000 people, who depended absolutely f o r t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d on the operation of these mines.^ Ralph Smith's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the s t r i k e was s i g n i f i c a n t because he personally disapproved of the Nanaimo miners joining the Western Federation i n December 1902. S i r William Mulock stated i n the House of Commons that he was hesitant about sending a Royal Commission to B r i t i s h Columbia as 20 "public opinion might not be ready for i t " and that he was ^ Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, O f f i c i a l Report of  Debates. A p r i l 3, 1903, p. 9^6. 20 I b i d . , p. 95U-. - 12 -opposed to Conservative demands that compulsory measures should be introduced to end st r i k e s i n important industries such as coal and transportation. But while S i r i l l l i a m appeared hesitant about intervening i n the st r i k e s on the coast, he was i n f a c t moving towards intervention. He was under pressure from Sextain corporations i n Canada to co n t r o l the spread of i n t e r n a t i o n a l unionism which many employers blamed f o r the growing militancy of Canadian labour i n general and B r i t i s h Columbia labour i n p a r t i c u l a r , A Royal Commission was taking shape behind the scenes. The s t r i k e s at Rossland i n 1901 and i n the Crow's Nest Pass i n 1902 and 1903 had proven c o s t l y to the mine owners. On A p r i l 1 9 0 3 , Mulock wrote to S i r W i l f r i d Laurier to advise him that he was convinced a f t e r holding anversations with the manager of Le Roi mine at Rossland and with other Canadian businessmen, that i n d u s t r i a l disputes were i n the main caused by interference from American unions. The working people of Canada have to a large extent come under the domination of the A.F.L. (American Federation of Labouc) whom they recognize as t h e i r f r i e n d s . Perhaps i t would a s s i s t to d i s i l l u s i o n them i f an i n t e l l i g e n t Commission, one i n which the working people had confidence, were to point out the i n j u r i e s that have come to them because of the i n t e r -ference of American unions. Such a pronouncement would have an educational e f f e c t . 1 He added further that Canadian businessmen found i t d i s t a s t e f u l S i r William Mulock to S i r W i l f r i d Laurier, A p r i l h, 1 9 0 3 , Laurier Papers. Microfilm. Reel 328A. ¥f692-78022A. Letters r e l a t i n g to B r i t i s h Columbia, P r o v i n c i a l Archives, V i c t o r i a . - 13 -to receive " d i c t a t i o n from representatives of American unions." As the executive o f f i c e r s of unions based i n the United States seldom i f ever had occasion to meet Canadian businessmen or make demands on them, Mulock may have meant by " d i c t a t i o n " that Canadian l o c a l s made greater demands on t h e i r employers once they had the f i n a n c i a l support of a large i n t e r n a t i o n a l 22 union behind them. In any case aft e r conversations with Senator Templeman of B r i t i s h Columbia who agreed with him about the attitude of employers, S i r William concluded his l e t t e r with the suggestion that a Royal Commission be set up to hear evidence i n the c i t i e s of Nanaimo, V i c t o r i a , Vancouver and Rossland concerning the causes of str i k e s i n B r i t i s h Columbia. In a c t u a l i t y the Commission was never to reach Rossland and the metaliferous mining d i s t r i c t of the Kootenays as i t s terms of reference promised. When l a t e r questioned i n the House of Commons concerning the omission of Rossland, S i r William r e p l i e d that King had advised him that the Commission had better not v i s i t Rossland as too many unresolved grievances remained from previous s t r i k e s . The Commissioners preferred 23 not to s t i r up further antagonism between company and miners. Two commissioners were chosen to investigate the stri k e s i n progress i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Neither had any See Address of Secretary to the Employers* Association of Canada, May 1 9 0 3 , i n Labour Gazette. 1 9 0 3 , p. 9 1 3 . 2 3 House of Commons, Debates, July 2 0 , 1 9 0 3 , p. 6 9 9 2 . - I n -experience i n labour a f f a i r s . Chief Justice Gordon Hunter of the Supreme Court of the^rovince gave an aura of i m p a r t i a l i t y to the proceedings. Reverend E l l i o t t S. Rowe was a prominent Methodist minister i n V i c t o r i a . In some of his past statements he had been c r i t i c a l of the way c e r t a i n large corporations 2k treated t h e i r workmen, but he was not s p e c i f i c . No record exists which explains why the government chose these p a r t i c u l a r men. W.L.M. King was a l o g i c a l choice as secretary to the Commission. King had investigated disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n the past and S i r William Mulock evidently considered him the person to i n s t r u c t the Commissioners about what the Depart-ment of Labour expected to learn about the a c t i v i t i e s of the Western Federation. King accepted S i r William's view that the purpose of the Commission was to "educate" Canadian workmen to understand the harm they did themselves i n associating with the Western Federation. On the other hand, King t o l d the Commissioners at one point during the hearings that i f they continued to display too much bias i n favour of the employers, 25 the Commission would f a i l i n i t s purpose. On May 5, the second day of the hearings, Chief Justice Hunter revealed the purpose of the inquiry to the pub l i c . He explained that only one of two "issues" would come out of the inquiry; either the miners had a r i g h t to See e d i t o r i a l on E l l i o t t S. Rowe's Address to the B r i t i s h Columbia Methodist Conference, Western Methodist Recorder, v o l . I l l , No. 1, July 1901, p.2. 2 ^ W.L.M.King, Diary. May 13, 1903, c i t e d i n Dawson, R. MacGregor, William Lyon Mackenzie King: A P o l i t i c a l Biography (Tor onto, 1958), vol.1, p. 13'8. - 15 -j o i n the Western Federation or they had not. I f the Commissioners concluded that the miners did not have the r i g h t to j o i n the Federation, then the federal government could introduce l e g i s l a t i o n to r e s t r a i n the international's opera-tions i n Canada, In the meantime, Mr. Justice Hunter advised the miners to sever th e i r a f f i l i a t i o n with the Federation and return to work. I f the f e d e r a l government approved of the Federation, the miners could always re-apply for membership. The miners held a meeting on the evening of the 5th and voted to r e j e c t Mr. Hunter's suggestion. They reasoned that Dunsmuir would never grant them a wage increase unless they were organized into a union, and that once they had severed their a f f i l i a t i o n with the union the executive would be discharged before a new one had been formed. The Nanaimo Free Press reported that the miners were very d i s s a t i s f i e d with Mr. Hunter's view that the miners were bound by the r e s u l t s of the t r i b u n a l but the company was not. They had everything 26 to lose i f they gave up th e i r a f f i l i a t i o n . The method of inquiry adopted by the Commissioners was the one advocated by the counsel for Wellington C o l l i e r i e s , E.V. Bodwell, The Commissioners had apparently no idea how they were to conduct the hearings u n t i l they a c t u a l l y began. The miners had to adopt the p o s i t i o n of p l a i n t i f f s or accusers as i n a c i v i l dispute; the company became the defendant. Counsel for the miners, Charles H. Wilson, K.C., objected to Minutes of Evidence, op.cit., p.3» Nanaimo Free Press May 9, 1903, p. 1. - 16 -the procedure because as he explained the miners were i n no sense a c c u s e r s . ^ The miners had met on March 8 for the purpose of deciding on a wage increase. Instead, they voted to form a union f i r s t and seek a f f i l i a t i o n with the Western Federation. On March 11 the company discharged four members of the executive and posted a notice which stated the mines would close on A p r i l 1. Ho reason was given f o r the notice but the miners struck on March 12 over the dismissals and the notice of closure. Wilson contended that the company "altered the status quo" by discharging miners f o r union a c t i v i t y alone and threatening the camp with unemployment. The hearings bore out Wilson's statements; the crown and the company became the accusers and the miners the defendants. The prosecution sought a "conviction" against the Western 2 Federation of conspiracy to bring about a sympathetic s t r i k e . There was no evidence that either James Dunsmuir or E.V. Bodwell learned from the Department of Labour or the Commissioners that the Commission was o r i g i n a l l y intended to convince Canadian workmen that they should not j o i n the Western Federation. But i n arguing that the Federation was a f o r e i g n union which caused disruption i n the i n d u s t r i a l a f f a i r s of Wellington C o l l i e r i e s Ltd., Bodwell chose the exact issue that S i r William Mulock wished to see brought to public attention. Wellington C o l l i e r i e s ' written statement Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.3» I b i d . . pp.330-331; p.^O, and passim. Report, op.cit.p . 7 6 . - 17 -concluded i n almost the same words as those used i n Mulock's l e t t e r to S i r W i l f r i d La.uirier and i n the f i n a l Report of the Royal Commission. The company's statement s a i d : It i s admitted that s t r i k e s are disastrous from a commercial point of view, and therefore, i n the broad ground of the general welfare and prosperity of the country, the company consider i t unpatriotic to accentuate the e v i l caused by labour disputes by recognizing the r i g h t of a foreign authority to assume the p o s i t i o n of dictator i n the i n d u s t r i a l a f f a i r s of B r i t i s h Columbia. v During the hearings Mr. Justice Hunter t r i e d to discover from c e r t a i n miners whether they would be s a t i s f i e d with a f f i l i a t i o n with a Canadian miners' union and without a f f i l i a t i o n with the Federation. He was invar i a b l y t o l d that s t r i k e breakers , X or "scabs" might enter B r i t i s h Columbia without r e s t r a i n t and that Canadian miners did not have enough members i n order 30 to b u i l d up s t r i k e funds. The Commissioners concluded from the hearings that foreign agitators - James Baker of the Federation and George Estes of the United Brotherhood of Railway Employees - had conspired with the secretaries of the miners' unions at Nanaimo and Extension to t r i c k miners at Extension and Cumber-31 land into forming unions. Once unions had been formed a s t r i k e would probably occur because Dunsmuir had always 2 9 Minutes of Evidence, op . c i t . . p.7k?. Report t :op.cit. p.76. 3 0 Minutes of Evidence, p.4, 19, 53, 59, 7k, 352, 368, Wt, 67k. 31 Report. p.67. - 18 -refused to recognize unions i n his mines. With coal production at a halt on the i s l a n d , the railway employees i n Vancouver would have a better opportunity to win t h e i r s t r i k e . The circumstantial evidence which the Commissioners used to prove t h i s conspiracy had taken place was convincing unless subjected to close scrutiny. The evidence lay i n c e r t a i n telegrams: and statements written by George Estes and telegrams wired from the Denver headquarters of the Federation to Nanaimo. Estes, an American who had never been to Vancouver Island, was under the Impression that a l l of the c o a l f i e l d had been organized by the Federation. But on February 27. when the s t r i k e of the railway employees began, only the Nanaimo miners were i n the Federation. Both Estes and the Federation headquarters seem to have assumed that the Western Fuel Company at Nanaimo supplied the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway with c o a l . In f a c t only the Cumberland mines < supplied the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway with coal from Vancouver Island. Thus George Estes was under serious misapprehension when he wired Denver on March h to request the Nanaimo miners not to handle coal which was shipped to the Canadian P a c i f i c . The following day he received a reply from the secretary of the Federation: "Have complied with your request. N o t i f i e d 32 union at Nanaimo." On March 6, T.J. Shenton, the secretary 32 Report, o p . c i t . p. 39* - 19 -of the Nanaimo miners* union, received the wire from Denver asking the union to use t h e i r best e f f o r t s to prevent the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway from getting c o a l . Shenton r e p l i e d immediately that the union "would render a l l assistance 33 possible." He asked Western Fuel whether the company supplied coal to the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway and was t o l d that the company had not done so for f i v e years. According to Shenton neither he nor his union were involved any further i n the s t r i k e at Vancouver. No evidence produced by the Commissioners proved that he was l y i n g . The "foreign d i c t a t i o n " and interference i n the a f f a i r s of Wellington C o l l i e r i e s had not proved too evident by March 6. But Shenton was accused of conspiring with the secretary of the Extension miners to bring on a s t r i k e at Extension. His only proven involvement i n the a f f a i r s of Extension began when the secretary of the Extension miners* union, Samuel Mottlshaw, came to Nanaimo afte r a general meeting of the Extension miners on March 8 had decided to j o i n the Federation. Mottishaw asked Shenton on March 9 to wire James Baker to come to Vancouver Island and organize the new 3*f union. The Commissioners assumed without proof that between March 6 and 7 the two secretaries s e c r e t l y conspired to bring about the meeting that l e d to the r e s o l u t i o n to a f f i l i a t e with the Federation. The Commissioners further assumed that the two men predicted the outcome of the demand for a f f i l i a t i o n would 33 L o c . c i t . 31* I b i d . , p . - f l . - 20 -be a s t r i k e . Although the Commissioners l e a r n e d t h a t the miners had discussed the p o s s i b i l i t y of seeking a wage in c r e a s e and/or forming a union i n the weeks before the f i r s t meeting, they chose t o deny the v a l i d i t y of the statements made to them; i n s t e a d , they only admitted as evidence those statements by miners who were contented w i t h c o n d i t i o n s at Extension. Thus the Commissioner's Report read that there was no "general" demand f o r changes i n wages and working c o n d i t i o n s at the mines. This c o n t r a d i c t i o n of evidence given by the miners t o the Commissioners was perhaps the most b l a t a n t i n the Report. The Commissioners questioned Shenton on three occasions i n order to discover whether he had taken p a r t i n a conspiracy. The second time he spoke h6 s a t i s f i e d the Commissioners on a l l p o i n t s regarding h i s p a r t i n the s t r i k e but was r e l u c t a n t to d i v u l g e a l l of the business of the Nanaimo union unless he was f o r c e d by the Commissioners to do so.-^ The C o n s t i t u t i o n of the union compelled the executive not t o r e v e a l the p r i v a t e business a f f a i r s of the o r g a n i z a t i o n . However, once he had c l e a r e d h i m s e l f w i t h h i s union he spoke f r e e l y . The Report s t a t e d that Shenton 1s i n i t i a l r e l u c t a n c e to t e l l e verything he knew regarding the s t r i k e i n d i c a t e d he t r i e d t o hide i n c r i m i n a t i n g evidence. Once the Report was published i n the Nanaimo Free Press. Shenton r e a l i z e d how the Commissioners 35 -Report. p. 1*1. Minutes of Evidence, p.3, 37, ^2 , 57-59 , 2*fl, 261, 2 8 l . $6 Minutes of Evidence, p. 530. - 21 -had interpreted his hesitancy to reveal union business. To the editor of the Free Press he wrote angrilys I regret having to go into public over these matters, but the unfairness of these charges i s past endurance, and I am impressed from what I have experienced i n connection with the recent Commission, that so far as I am concerned, future Commissions w i l l get t h e i r witnesses elsewhere and some I hope, w i l l t e l l the truth instead of 07 w i l f u l misstatements and contradictory evidence." 5' He was p a r t i c u l a r l y incensed by the way the Commissioners selected his statements to the Commission and turned them against him. Shenton had admitted under examination to Bodwell that he thought i t was possible that a dispute could occur after the Extension miners formed a union. He emphasized the point to the Commissioners that although he thought at the time the union organized that a s t r i k e could happen, he was not motivated by t h i s consideration when he wired Baker on behalf of Mottishaw. The Report twisted Shenton's statements to mean that Shenton knew a s t r i k e would occur and that he had joined Mottishaw i n the plan to "render a l l assistance possible" to the railway employees.-5 The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of foreign d i c t a t i o n i n the i n d u s t r i a l a f f a i r s of B r i t i s h Columbia owed much to the state-ment of George Estes. His c i r c u l a r notice to " a l l union men'" ^ Report, p . ^ 5 Nanaimo Free Press. September 1, 1903. p.8. ^ Minutes of Evidence, p. 530; Report. p.*f6. - 22 on February 27 promised that the Federation would be asked 39 "to stop the mining of coal on Vancouver Island." On March 17 he t o l d a reporter i n V i c t o r i a that "I am going to t i e up ho the Dunsmuir mines at Union." Up u n t i l A p r i l 2 9 , when Extension miners asked Cumberland (Union C o l l i e r y ) miners to s t r i k e i n sympathy with them, neither Estes nor any other unionist asked the Cumberland miners to s t r i k e . As Baker organized a branch of the Federation at Cumberland on A p r i l 5 , the Commissioners assumed Baker must have acted i n c o l l u s i o n with Estes. But the evidence from the o f f i c a l hearings proves that Cumberland miners organized a union because they believed the Federation was a strong union which would support the miners i n their demands on Wellington C o l l i e r i e s ' subsidiary company at Cumberland. George Estes undoubtedly appeared to have the power hi to c a l l sympathetic s t r i k e s . The Vancouver Independent and h2 the Nanaimo Free Press saw the significance of Estes' statements when they commented af t e r the Report was published that Estes had " s e l f - g l o r i f i e d " his p o s i t i o n and his powers i n the statements he had made. Both newspapers had argued from the beginning that Dunsmuir's r e f u s a l to permit a union to 39 Report, p. 5 0 . ^° Ibid . ^ Vancouver Independent. March 2 1 , 1 9 0 3 , p.3 , A p r i l 1 8 , p.3 . h9 ^ Nanaimo Free Press, August 2 7 , 1 9 0 3 , p.H-. - 23 -e x i s t i n his mines was the cause of the s t r i k e s ; but Estes gave the Commissioners the kind of evidence they needed to convince the public that the strikes were caused by foreign a g i t a t o r s . The Commissioners* second most important indictment of the Federation and the United Brotherhood was a p o l i t i c a l one. According to the Report these organizations were not "legitimate" trade unions. They were a class of so-called union developing r a p i d l y i n Western America, which i s r e a l l y not a trade union at a l l , but a secret p o l i t i c a l organization whose members are bound by an oath so strong as to be considered a shie l d against giving any but forced testimony before the Commission. The primary object and common end of t h i s class of organization i s to seize the p o l i t i c a l power of the state for the purpose of confiscating a l l franchises and natural resources without compensation, and to t h i s class belong [the above unionsj. There was no secret about the f a c t that many of the executive members of the American branches of these unions were s o c i a l i s t s who openly advocated support for the S o c i a l i s t Party of America at public gatherings. The "oath so strong as to be considered a sh i e l d " was simply the oath taken by members of the executive of any union upon taking o f f i c e ; the incumbent swore never to divulge union business or defraud the union and promised to serve his fellow unionists. Although Canadian miners and railway employees did not have to be Report, p. 67. - 2h -S o c i a l i s t s to remain i n the unions or i n executive positions, there was a strong current running i n favour of socialism i n the unions of B r i t i s h Columbia. At the June 1903 convention of the Federation i n Denver a r e s o l u t i o n which passed 125 to 20 read i n parts Whereas, the natural resources of the earth upon which humanity depends are being s w i f t l y concentrated in t o the hands of the p r i v i l e g e d few; and ... Whereas, capitalism can never be dethroned and wage slavery abolished u n t i l the natural resources of the earth and the machinery of production and d i s t r i b u t i o n s h a l l be taken from the hands of the few by the p o l i t i c a l power of the many, to become the c o l l e c t i v e property of a l l mankind, to be u t i l i z e d for the use and benefit of a l l humanity; and Whereas, the s o c i a l i s t party i s the only p o l i t i c a l party i n any nation of the world that demands that the land and the machinery of production and d i s t r i b u -t i o n s h a l l become the common property of a l l , and that labour s h a l l receive the f u l l product of i t s t o i l ; ... be i t resolved, that the ...Western Federation of Miners ...reaffirm th4 p o l i t i c a l p o l i c y of the tenth annual convention.•. The Report c l e a r l y implied that the growth of socialism i n B r i t i s h Columbia was due e n t i r e l y to the influence of the American unions. The Report quoted at length from the Miners 1  Magazine, the journal of the Federation. The Commissioners appear to have selected the most v i o l e n t statements made by d i f f e r e n t correspondents to the journal without commenting on the unusual circumstances giving r i s e to those statements. The Report, furthermore, did not explain that the r a d i c a l sentiments of the American miners were a product of the v i o l e n t Quoted i n Report. p.67. See also Testimony of James Baker, P r o v i n c i a l organizer of the Western Federation, Minutes of  Evidence, p. 33. - 2 5 -methods used by American mining companies i n Idaho, Utah, Montana and Colorado to r e s i s t unions and union demands. The "heritage of c o n f l i c t " that developed i n the mountain states between companies and miners never took root i n B r i t i s h Colubmia because more moderate behaviour was induced by more e f f e c t i v e maintenance of law and order. By arguing that the leaders of the two unions i n the s t r i k e s of 1903 f i r s t brought revolutionary socialism to B r i t i s h Columbia and caused st r i k e s because of t h e i r intense antipathy to large corporations, the Commissioners tremend-ously exaggerated the extent of the influence of the American unions. The Commissioners learned from the hearings that Welsh, Scot t i s h and English born miners predominated over every other n a t i o n a l i t y i n the mines of Vancouver Island, the Crow's Nest Pass and the Kootenays. Miners and other spokesmen for labour t o l d the Commissioners that although they had learned trade unionism i n the United Kingdom or i n Eastern Canada, they had become increasingly interested i n labour and s o c i a l i s t p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y i n B r i t i s h Columbia because of t h e i r opposition to economic and p o l i t i c a l i n j u s t i c e s which existed i n the province. In f a c t s o c i a l i s t ideas had Minutes of Evidence., p . 2 9 . Jensen, o p . c i t . . p . 8 7 , p p . l l 8 - 1 1 9 . Haywood, William D., Autobiography(New York, 1 9 2 9 ) , Chapter IX. Paul/ Rodman, Mining F r o n t i e r s . . . T p.1 6 8 . Bescoby, Isabel, "Some Aspects of the Mining Advance...," p.1 2 0 . 1 + 6 Minutes of Evidence, p.37, 3 0 3 , * a i , 6**3, 6 ^ 5 , 6 ^ 7 , 6 7 9 , 6 8 0 , See also Loosemore, op.ci t . , pp.15-16. Grantham, R. "Some Aspects of Socialism...,"p . l 8 . Raines, J.A.,"The Men and the Mines of Vancouver Island, "B.C. MagazineV v o l . 9 , September 1 3 , 1 9 1 3 , p . l . - 26 -entered B r i t i s h Columbia as e a r l y as l88h when the f i r s t k7 branch of the Knights of Labor formed i n Nanaimo. When a new wave of B r i t i s h and Eastern Canadian immigrants entered the province i n the l a t e l890's, urban s o c i a l i s m began to penetrate the labour and s o c i a l i s t p o l i t i c a l platforms i n the years 1900 t o 1903 i n the c o a s t a l c i t i e s of Vancouver, V i c t o r i a and Nanaimo. The Western Federation d i d not form a branch at Nanaimo u n t i l December 1902 and according t o s o c i a l i s t and n o n - s o c i a l i s t miners who j o i n e d the union, i t s p o l i t i c a l philosophy was of l i t t l e consequence compared w i t h c o n s i d e r a t i o n s as to i t s s i z e , i t s e f f e c t i v e n e s s as an i n t e r n a t i o n a l union, and i t s support of l o c a l s which became i n v o l v e d i n s t r i k e s . ' The Commissioners learned from David H a l l i d a y , a union miner from Scotland, t h a t i n r e f u s i n g t o permit a union i n h i s mines, Dunsmuir had advanced the cause of the s o c i a l i s t s on the c o a l f i e l d . I f the mine owner was not prepared to discuss improvements i n wages or working c o n d i t i o n s i n h i s mines w i t h a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e body of miners, then the miners had better vote f o r a party t h a t would f o r c e "^7 Nanaimo Free P r e s s . January 26, 188^, p . l . C i t e d i n " O r i g i n s of Labour Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia," A C h r o n o l o g i c a l L i s t to About 1900, Typewritten f i l e , North West H i s t o r y L i b r a r y , P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s , V i c t o r i a . The Knights' union i n Nanaimo antedates the e a r l i e s t recorded appearance of the union by two years as recorded by Loosemore, o p . c i t . T p.29. Loosemore, o p . c i t . ? Appendices, pp. XV-XXVII. ^ Minutes of Evidence, p.33, 53, 57-59, 283, 291, 318-319, 327, 3^8, 391, ^32, tftf. - 27 -the mine owner to recognize the union. He believed the mines should be run as a public corporation. David Halliday indicated i n h i s testimony to the Commissioners that p o l i t i c a l r adicalism was a r e s u l t rather than a cause of the st r i k e s on the c o a l f i e l d i n 1903.^° The Report of the Royal Commission has had a s i g n i f - X leant e f f e c t on h i s t o r i c a l studies which have discussed the st r i k e s of 1903. There were two aspects to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The Commissioners concluded that the i d e o l o g i c a l radicalism of the Federation had influenced the miners and had caused them to develop a new determined h o s t i l i t y i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with th e i r employers. Studies of the period which have supported t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n began with Norman J.Ware's 51 Labor i n Canadian American Relations i n 1937 and extended 52 through such works as H.A. Logan's Trade Unions i n Canada. J.T. Saywell's "Labour and Socialism i n B r i t i s h Columbia to 1903," and Ferns and Ostry's The Age of Mackenzie King. As the Commissioners tended to exaggerate and even d i s t o r t the evidence they had gathered, a r e v i s i o n of th e i r 5° Minutes of Evidence. p.*+27, *+8l. For a si m i l a r view of the s t r i k e at Extension mines see Nanaimo Free Press, e d i t o r i a l , June 29, 1903, p.2. 51 Ware, Norman J . , op.c i t . . p.23. 52 Logan H.A., Trade Unions i n Canada(Toront0.1948).pp.297-298. 53 Saywell John T., op.cit..p.137. See his c r i t i c i s m of the Report on p. l^O. 51* Ferns, H.S.and Ostry, B., The .Age of Mackenzie King (London. 1953), pp.59-60. - 28 -i n t e r p r e t a t i o n seemed overdue. The second aspect of the Commissioner's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n concerned the actual events connected with the st r i k e s on Vancouver Island. The Commissioners argued that foreign agitators caused the sympathetic st r i k e s i n c o l l u s i o n with l o c a l unionists. Studies of the period have generally used thi s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . William Bennett argued i n Builders of 55 B r i t i s h Columbia that the miners had accumulated grievances against Wellington C o l l i e r i e s but he followed the interpreta-t i o n of the Report for the st r i k e s of 1903. Ferns and Ostry, S6 too, used the in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Report. Two studies 57 58 of the Vancouver Island c o a l f i e l d by I.F.Davis and A.J.Wargo s i m i l a r l y found the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the st r i k e s found i n the Report convincing. Of the seven government investigations into labour and other problems i n the c o a l f i e l d between 1885 and 191U-, the Commission of 1903 was probably among the lea s t useful i n providing the government with information concerning the problems faced by coal companies and mining labour i n working 55 Bennett, o p . c i t . , p . 6 l . 56 Ferns and Ostry, o p . c i t . . p.60. ^ Davis, Isabelle,F., n l*9th P a r a l l e l C i t y : An Economic History of Ladysmith," Graduating Essay, Vancouver, U.B.C.,1953? pp.11-21. ^ Wargo, Alan J . , "The Great Coal S t r i k e : The Vancouver Island Coal Miners 1 S t r i k e , 1912-191^-," Graduating Essay, Vancouver, U.B.C., 1962, pp.57-58. - 29 -the c o a l f i e l d . The r e a l causes of i n d u s t r i a l disputes i n the his t o r y of the f i e l d up to 191k, when the longest s t r i k e i n ^ the history of the f i e l d occurred, lay within the f i e l d i t s e l f . By 1903 i t was evident that geological i r r e g u l a r i t i e s i n the c o a l f i e l d were a source of constant grievance and concern to miners and companies.^ The number of i n j u r i e s and deaths due. to gas explosions i n these mines was among the highest i n the world. The miners t r i e d to work out some formula with the companies concerning how much the miners were to be paid f o r digging the large amounts of d i r t found i n the coal seams and they fought long and hard for improvements i n safety conditions. Miners t e s t i f i e d i n 1903 as they did before e a r l i e r and l a t e r commissions that they l o s t time and money because they were not paid f a i r l y f o r digging out the d i r t that clung to the co a l they handled.^ 0 For t h i s reason and for at l e a s t one 59 Graham, Charles, "The Problems of the Vancouver Island Coal Industry," Transactions. Canadian Ins t i t u t e of Mining and Metalurgy, vol.27,192k,p.^-71. Clapp,C.H., "Geology of the Nanaimo Map iSrea," Memoir 51. Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, 19&,p.l05. B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of Mines, "Report of the Minister of Mines," Sessional Papers. 1880, pp.251-251*- and pas sim ? 1881-1901. The following study presents a good survey of the geological problems on the f i e l d but the o r i g i n a l studies had to be consulted on t h i s question. Matheson, Marion,H., "Some Aspects of Coal Mining Upon the Development of the Nanaimo Area," MA. Thesis,U.B.C.,1958,p.k2. 6 0 Minutes of Evidence, p.57, 265, 271. B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly.S.P.. "Report of Select Committee to Inquire into the Wellington S t r i k e , " l891,pp.2 l*2-356. Evid-ence on pp.257-258; p.285. Report of the Royal Commission  on Coal Mining Disputes on Vancouver Island. Ottawa, 1913, p.20. The Commission reported,p.23, that Canadian C o l l i e r i e s (Dunsmuir) Ltd., inherited many unresolved grievances from the previous owners, Wellington C o l l i e r i e s Ltd. The Commission made recommendations about conditions that should have been obvious to investigators i n 1903 had they heen looking f o r a l l the causes of disputes. See also B.C.,Legislative Assembly, "Royal Commission on Labour," S . P . ^ l ^ . pp.15-16. - 30 -other - the company had r e c e n t l y b e n e f i t t e d from a new rebate ^) granted by the American government t o Canadian c o a l companies exporti n g to C a l i f o r n i a - the miners at Extension and Cumber-land organized unions w i t h the hope of o b t a i n i n g a wage i n c r e a s e . Another t r a d i t i o n a l source of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i n the „ c o a l f i e l d was the employment of A s i a t i c labour i n the mines at r a t e s ranging from 30$ t o 50% lower than those p a i d to (^ white miners. Chinese and Japanese workers were held ( J ^ r e s p o n s i b l e by white miners f o r many mine explosions and f o r d r i v i n g away white immigrant miners who would not compete f o r 6 l jobs at low wages. As l a t e as 1902, a Royal Commission v found t h a t A s i a t i c workers were a s a f e t y hazard underground, 62 p a r t i c u l a r l y when they could not read n o t i c e s . Ever s i n c e A the great mine d i s a s t e r of 1887, i n which 150 miners died a t ' the Vancouver Coal Company mine near Nanaimo, the Nanaimo company kept the promise made t h a t year to the i s l a n d miners 63 never again to employ A s i a t i c labour underground. In 1900 one of James Dunsmuir's e l e c t i o n promises t o the miners was th a t he would r e p l a c e h i s A s i a t i c miners, numbering over 500 6k > Chinese w i t h a few Japanese, w i t h white miners. The promise was p a r t i a l l y implemented and then abandoned. A l l of ^ Canada, House of Commons, Session Papers. Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, No.5l*-> Ottawa, 1902, pp.85-86. 6 2 I b i d . . pp.276-277. 6 3 I b i d . , p.71 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.298. 6 l f Cumberland News, May 22, 1903, p.5. - 31 -Wellington C o l l i e r i e s ' A s i a t i c miners resided near Cumberland. When the (white) Cumberland miners organized a union i n A p r i l (^  1903. there was speculation that they might t r y to organize the A s i a t i c miners into a separate union. As the s t r i k e was t o prove, without the Chinese any s t r i k e by the whites alone was bound to f a i l because the company could carry on almost at f u l l capacity without them. As i t was against {f • company policy to permit any kind of union at Cumberland, whether l o c a l or i n t e r n a t i o n a l , the Company began dismissing o f f i c i a l s of the new union soon after i t s formation. A f t e r repeated dismissals the miners voted to s t r i k e over the issue of discrimination against union members. The company's action was i n part at l e a s t a defense against the p o s s i b i l i t y of having to contend with an organized A s i a t i c union. I n d u s t r i a l disputes on the c o a l f i e l d followed very , 65 c l o s e l y the economic cycles of the period to 1914. The issues of payment for mining d i r t , of wage demands, and of the ^ employment of A s i a t i c labour, generally reached the point where l o c a l or regional unions were formed and str i k e s occurred during a period of expansion i n the industry. The years of highest production and employment i n the industry were 1884, 1891, 1901 and 1910. The miners on the f i e l d t r i e d to form 65 y The idea that s t r i k e s i n the coal industry might follow the pattern of the economic cycles was suggested to the writer by Professor Jamieson's study of the same phenomenon i n the construction industry i n the 1950's. Jamieson, Stuart, "Regional Factors i n Ind u s t r i a l C o n f l i c t : The Case of B.C." Canadian Journal of Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science, vol.28 (August, 1962), pp.405-416. - 32 -regional or d i s t r i c t - w i d e miners' associations i n I883, I89O, 1901, 1903 and 1910. In each case the resistance of the Dunsmuir coal empire to the formation of l o c a l unions i n i t s mines broke the regional miners' organization. The complex background of events on the c o a l f i e l d escaped the Commission of 1903 mainly because i t s attention was f i x e d on the entrance of the Western Federation of Miners into the economic l i f e of the region. The entrance of the Federation into the region ^ 2 -was not the cause of i n d u s t r i a l disputes i n 1903, but the end r e s u l t of previous attempts by the miners to f i n d a solu t i o n to t h e i r habitual I n a b i l i t y to r e a l i z e their demands from the 66 companies i n the c o a l f i e l d . For a t h e o r e t i c a l discussion of the reasons f o r the develop-ment of trade unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia see P h i l l i p s , Paul, No f.DWsfceJ&rea'frer: A Cenury of Labour i n B r i t i s h Columbia (Vancouver, 1967),pp.l60-l65. D r . P h i l l i p s ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the strikes on Vancouver Island i n 1903(p.4l) does not vary from the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n t h i s t h e s i s . D r . P h i l l i p s ' book came to the writer's attention just as the thesis was being prepared f o r f i n a l typing. CHAPTER I The Rise of Miners' Trade Unions on the C o a l f i e l d : 1871 - 1883 The Royal Commissioners i n 1903 were aware that miners at Wellington C o l l i e r i e s on Vancouver Island had made many previous attempts to organize unions."1" But the Commissioners did not attempt a survey or an analysis to discover why miners had organized unions at Wellington C o l l i e r i e s i n the past. Had the Commissioners seriously considered the history of unions at Wellington, they would have found that for over three decades miners' unions fought to achieve some measure of co n t r o l over working conditions i n the mines. In the years I87I-I883 Immigrant miners from the United r-Kingdom formed unions at Wellington C o l l i e r i e s for three main reasons: they desired a p r o v i n c i a l Coal Mines Regulations A c t ^ to make the mines safer; they organized to combat wage reduc--"N tions and to protest the increasing employment of Chinese I'; workers i n the mines. The unions formed i n these years were similar i n form to Old Country miners' unions; they were protective associations to which only s k i l l e d miners could belong. The aim of the unions was the t r a d i t i o n a l one<of attempting to improve the working l i f e of the s k i l l e d miner 1 The Royal Commission on In d u s t r i a l Disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1903, Minutes of Evidence Tp.265.390-391.hlk and passim. - 33 -- 34 -by taking some of the control over working conditions and wages away from the mineowner and placing the co n t r o l i n the hands of the miner. From 1871 on, Robert Dunsmuir and his son James fought the miners every step of the way when the 2 miners attempted to change company practices at Wellington. The f i r s t c o a l miners to enter B r i t i s h Columbia were employees of the Hudson's Bay Company. From 1835 to 1852 these few Scots miners laboured at the s i t e of an outcrop of coal at Fort Rupert on the north coast of B r i t i s h Columbia. In 1852 the company abandoned i t s Fort Rupert co a l operations when more p r o f i t a b l e mines were found at Nanaimo on the east 3 coast of Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo mines supplied coal to an American mailship company which provided service between San Francisco and Oregon. As P a c i f i c commerce broadened aft e r 1850, the Hudson's Bay Company imported more miners from England. The mines produced a ste a d i l y increasing flow of coal to provide energy for steamships and industries which came to the coastal c i t i e s of San Francisco and V i c t o r i a 4 during and af t e r the gold rushes of 1849 and 1858. In 1862 2 Dunsmuir Papers (Graham Folder); Dunsmuir F i l e s i n the P r o v i n c i a l Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia(in future c i t a t i o n s PABC). Audaine, James, Coal Mine to Castle(New York,1956). Gosnell, R.E.,"The Dunsmuirs,11 i n Sixty Years of Progress (Vancouver,1914), pp.115-126. 3 McKelvie, B.A.,"The Founding of Nanaimo," B r i t i s h Columbia  H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly, v o l . 8, 1944, pp.169-188. 4 Innis, H.A., " L i q u i d i t y Preference as a Factor i n Industrial Development," i n Essays i n Canadian Economic History(Toronto. 1956), pp.334-335". - 35 -the Hudson's Bay Company sold i t s properties at Nanaimo to the British-owned Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company. The new company expanded the immigration policy of the Hudson's Bay Company when Vancouver Coal began i n the l870's to encourage miners from the north of England to emigrate and settle on the 5 company's lands i n the v i c i n i t y of the mines at Nanaimo. More coal miners from the United Kingdom entered the coalfield after Robert Dunsmuir, formerly a manager at Nanaimo, opened a new mine at Sfellington i n 1869. The mine lay six miles north-east of Nanaimo. The new firm of Dunsmuir, Diggle & Company contracted to supply the Pacific Station of the Royal Navy at Esquimalt with steam coal. Like i t s Nanaimo competitor, the Vancouver Coal Mining Company, Dunsmuir, Diggle & Company exported over half i t s coal to the growing c i t y of San 6 Francisco. From the beginning of operations at Wellington, Robert Dunsmuir's labour policy differed from that of the Nanaimo company. Whereas Vancouver Coal attracted experienced ^ miners by hiring them i n the United Kingdom and assisting them i n settling on the company's lands, Robert Dunsmuir hired 5 Smith, B.R.D., "A Social History of Early Nanaimo," B.A.Honours Thesis,U.B.C.,1956, p.117. The percentages of different r a c i a l and linguistic groups which settled i n the region as calculated by M.H. Matheson, op.cit.,p.212 were for Nanaimo and d i s t r i c t : United Kingdom-80^JCentral and Southern Europe-7^5 Asiatic - 6 ^ ; Western European-5%; Northern Europe-2^. Census of Canada . l88l. I891, 1901. Statistics of employment i n the mines as given i n the "Report of the Minister of Mines," were categorized as "white," Chinese, Japanese or Indian and gave a good analysis of the influence of immigration into the region. 6 "Report of the Minister of Mines," 187!+- passim. - 36 -miners from those who sought work on the c o a l f i e l d . A number *" of W e l l i n g t o n miners may have d r i f t e d i n t o the c o a l f i e l d a f t e r wages had d e c l i n e d i n the l860's i n the gold camps on the upper reaches of the Fraser R i v e r . The r e s u l t of these company p o l i c i e s was that a more s t a b l e p o p u l a t i o n of miners s e t t l e d 7 around Nanaimo than at W e l l i n g t o n . The d i f f i c u l t i e s and dangers i n v o l v e d i n working the c o a l seams at deep l e v e l s became t e r r i b l y apparent i n October 1870 when a mine e x p l o s i o n k i l l e d 68 miners. The f a u l t s or breaks which had occurred i n the c o a l seams when the p l a i n underwent u p l i f t i n g i n an e a r l y g e o l o g i c a l era were the main source of danger. Underground gas seeped from pressure pockets when digging suddenly r e l e a s e d t h e i r deadly contents. An open lamp or c a r e l e s s l y made spark e a s i l y i g n i t e d gas w i t h d i s a s t r o u s consequences. The Stephenson s a f e t y lamp cou l d detect gas pockets when i t was used - i t seldom was - but without constant v i g i l a n c e and d a i l y i n s p e c t i o n the danger remained. Too l i t t l e v i g i l a n c e and no o f f i c i a l i n s p e c t i o n e x i s t e d i n the mines i n 1870. In January 1871 the W e l l i n g t o n miners met t o p r o t e s t against inadequate s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s i n the W e l l i n g t o n mines. ^ They organized the f i r s t union on the c o a l f i e l d and demanded ^ 7 Smith, B.R.D.. o p . c i t . . p.117. Matheson, M.H..op.cit..p.248. 8 U n d e r h i l l , F . H . , "Labour L e g i s l a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia," Ph.D.Thesis,University of California,1 9 3 5,p.2 8 . "Origins of Labour Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia," A C h r o n o l o g i c a l L i s t t o about 1900, Typewritten f i l e , North West H i s t o r y L i b r a r y , PABC, n.p.n.d. - 37 -t h a t the company improve s a f e t y c o n d i t i o n s . The miners r e s o l v e d , too, t h a t the p r o v i n c i a l government should be asked to introduce compulsory i n s p e c t i o n of mines on the c o a l f i e l d . K Robert Dunsmuir refused to implement any of the immediate demands of the miners' union and a s t r i k e f o l l o w e d . The ^ s t r i k e f a i l e d to achieve any important reforms i n 1871 and 9 the company dismissed union leaders from i t s employ. Old Country miners at W e l l i n g t o n must have been d i s -i l l u s i o n e d t o f i n d that the stru g g l e f o r trade union working c o n d i t i o n s i n the mines had to begin a l l over again. Parliament i n the United Kingdom enacted a Coal Mines Regulations Act i n 1872. The l e g i s l a t i o n was a considerable advance f o r the miners' unions because i t i n c l u d e d p e n a l t i e s i f mineowners i n t e r f e r e d w i t h miners' agents who were permitted to in s p e c t mines and r e p o r t on the accuracy of the company's weighing machines. 1 0 The miners' check-weighman v e r i f i e d the accuracy of weighing machines which measured the tonnage produced by miners. As new miners from the United Kingdom entered the Vancouver I s l a n d c o a l f i e l d a f t e r the s t r i k e of 1871, they may have brought word of the recent v i c t o r y of the miners' unions. The union s t r u g g l e s on the i s l a n d would become more intense i n the next s i x y e a r s . 9 U n d e r h i l l , op_.cit., pp.26-28. "Origins of Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia." Nanaimo Free P r e s s , January 2*+, 1871, p . l . 10 C o l e , G.D.H- and Postgate, R., The Common People: 17lr6-19l+6 (London, 1956), p.353, pp. 3 5 6 - 3 ^ P o l l i n g , Henry, A H i s t o r y  of B r i t i s h Trade Unionism (London, 1963), p.77. - 38 -By 1877 the Wellington miners had accumulated new grievances over working conditions. The conditions at Welling-ton which made mining dangerous also made wages d i f f i c u l t to * make. Miners from the United Kingdom were not used to working seams which had serious f a u l t s and i n which the roofs were composed of sandy shale. P a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Wellington seam the r i s i n g and dipping sandy shale roof too often p i l e d down on the miner below when the roof was unsupported near the coal face where the miner worked."'""1' Since they were paid by the ton, miners took r i s k s rather than use up valuable time i n b r a t t i c i n g close to the face i n preparation f o r the gunpowder shot which would loosen the c o a l . Once the coal had loosened, the miner had to dispose of the shale and f o r disposing of the shale and d i r t , he usually received some compensation. Consequently, the miner made an agreement with the p i t boss before he entered the place he was to work concerning the price / he was to receive for digging out the refuse d i r t . I f the miner expected that there would be much d i r t to dig out he became exasperated i f the price f o r digging i t out was i n his estimation too low, Vancouver Coal at Nanaimo followed the United Kingdom practice by which a miner was not forced to accept the decision { 12 of the p i t boss as f i n a l . Appeal could be made to a p i t A committee of miners to help adjudicate any dispute over the 11 For the extensive documentation on t h i s question of the geological condition of the Wellington seam see Footnote 59, Introduc t i o n . 12. The Boyal Commission on Indu s t r i a l Disputes, Minutes of  Evidence, o p , c i t . . 1903, p. 295. - 39 -p r i c e . "Recognition of a p i t committee was tantamount to the r e c o g n i t i o n by the company of the miners' union or a s s o c i a t i o n e l e c t e d p i t committee. However at W e l l i n g t o n , Robert Dunsmuir refused to d e a l w i t h p i t committees or union r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s perhaps because the p r a c t i c e had not grown up i n F y f e s h i r e before he l e f t sometime i n the l a t e 18^0's. He reacted s t r o n g l y to any suggestion that miners were i n t e r f e r e i n g i n the running of h i s mines by d i s m i s s i n g them as a g i t a t o r s . For t h i s reason h i s miners charged i n February 1877 that he c a r r i e d a p o l i c y of " a u t o c r a t i c tyranny" i n h i s m i n e s . 1 3 At the same time the W e l l i n g t o n miners complained that they were r e q u i r e d w t o do many things not customary i n other mines"; by t h i s they d o u b t l e s s l y r e f e r r e d to the company's i n s i s t a n c e that they take v a l u a b l e time to d i g out the o f t e n l a r g e ^ q u a n t i t i e s of d i r t found i n the seam. In e a r l y February 1877 the W e l l i n g t o n miners met t o d i s c u s s the many unresolved disputes t h a t e x i s t e d between the miners and the company over working c o n d i t i o n s and wages. In I876 the companies on the c o a l f i e l d reduced the p r i c e per ton p a i d to miners from $1.00 t o $.81 because the p r i c e of c o a l on the San F r a n c i s c o market had d e c l i n e d when the market became over - s u p p l i e d . At W e l l i n g t o n the r e d u c t i o n aggravated e x i s t i n g grievances over digging d i r t f o r l i t t l e or no pay and over a l l e g e d defects i n the company's weighing machines. To f i g h t these issues the miners st r u c k on February 26 and organized a 13 " O r i g i n s of Labour Unions," o p . c i t . Nanaimo Free Press. February 26, I877, p . l . Mutual Protection Society. Their union aims were l i b e r a l x and i d e a l i s t i c ; they declared that the general purpose of the Society was to enable "labour and c a p i t a l to work harmoniously" together. The name and philosophy of the new organization suggest that i t s leaders included B r i t i s h 15 immigrant miners who had entered the c o a l f i e l d since 1871. Robert Dunsmuir refused to deal with the miners' Society and the s t r i k e continued u n t i l the end of A p r i l I877. Robert Dunsmuir was determined not to give way to the demands of the miners. He ordered that a l l miners who occupied rented bunkhouses on company property had to leave the premises; when the miners refused to leave, even the S h e r i f f was unsuccessful i n his f i r s t attempts to evi c t them. Then the company t r i e d to break the s t r i k e when i t imported labour J from San Francisco but the miners met the incoming Americans at Departure Bay and forced them to return to Nanaimo. To weaken the company's p o s i t i o n further the miners attempted to intimidate Chinese workers who continued to work while the s t r i k e was on, but t h i s e f f o r t was la r g e l y unsuccessful. The st r i k e f i n a l l y ended soon a f t e r A p r i l 23 when the B r i t i s h * Columbia m i l i t i a arrived at Wellington to re-enforce the c i v i l 14 L o c . c i t . 15 Cole, G.D.H., and Postgate, R., op. c i t . . pp.399-400. - hi -authority of the s h e r i f f and evict the miners from the bunk-16 houses. The s t r i k e of the Miners' Mutual Protection Society over working conditions and a wage reduction had f a i l e d but the organization l i v e d on, kept a l i v e by miners who remained < at Wellington or who migrated to Nanaimo. Wellington miners at their meeting on February 26 had decided to form branch unions of the Protective Society at other mines i n the f i e l d but the Nanaimo miners did not apparently see the need as yet for an o f f i c i a l union. Two reasons may have accounted f o r the apparent lack of militancy on the part of the Nanaimo miners i n 1877• The B r i t i s h Columbia l e g i s l a t u r e passed a Coal Mines Regulations < 17 Act i n 1877. The Act vras similar to the United Kingdom Act 18 of 1872 and the many north of England miners at Nanaimo almost c e r t a i n l y took advantage of the 1877 Act which permitted them to e s t a b l i s h inspection committees and a check-weighman. The h o s t i l i t y of Robert Dunsmuir to miners' agents i n t e r f e r i n g i n the running of his mines prevented these committees from 16 Return of the lVt h of March,1878, of a l l Correspondence, Orders i n Council, and Other Documents, Relating to the Miners' Stri k e at Nanaimo, and to the Disposition of a Body of Armed Volunteers of M i l i t i a to the D i s t r i c t of Nanaimo i n the Spring of I877, Victoria,Government Pri n t i n g O f f i c e , I878. See also Roy,R.H., " . . . i n Aid of C i v i l Power,»1877. Ottawa, Queen's Printer , 1 9 5 3 . Silverman,P.G.,"A History of the M i l i t i a and Defenses of B r i t i s h Columbia," M.A.Thesis, Vane ouver,U.B.C.,19 56,pp.162-192. 17 See Appendix,p.2ll,"Petition Against Coal Mining B i l l " . The coal companies on the f i e l d unsuccessfully petitioned f o r the b i l l ' s withdrawal. 18 Un d e r b i l l , F.H., op.ci t . , pp.25-28. - 4 2 -forming at W e l l i n g t o n . The second reason f o r the more moderate behavior of the Nanaimo miners was that Nanaimo miners were v s o c i a l l y more conservative than W e l l i n g t o n miners. Mhereas W e l l i n g t o n miners were g e n e r a l l y s i n g l e men who r e s i d e d i n - bunkhouses, a l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n of Nanaimo miners were property owners and f a m i l y men. The grievances and f r u s t r a t i o n s of Nanaimo miners were channelled more oft e n i n t o vigorous out-door sports and heavy d r i n k i n g i n the numerous pubs i n the 19 town than i n t o labour d i s p u t e s . In the years a f t e r 1877 the W e l l i n g t o n managers as s i d u o u s l y rooted out le a d i n g members of the Miners' S o c i e t y 20 who t r i e d to br i n g union demands to the company's a t t e n t i o n . But w i t h the tremendous expansion i n the i n d u s t r y from 1877 t o 1883 new miners immigrated i n t o the c o a l f i e l d from the A United Kingdom and r e - i n v i g o r a t e d the union movement. There was another s t r i k e at W e l l i n g t o n i n 1881 over the same i s s u e s 19 Smith,B.R.D., o p . c i t . .pp.114-117. Matheson,M.H. ,op_.cit. , p.223. Most of the f a c t o r s that caused s t r i k e s which C l a r k Kerr found i n h i s comprehensive study of s t r i k e - p r o n e i n d u s t r i e s of which mining was f i r s t were present on the c o a l f i e l d s of Vancouver I s l a n d . The one constant f a c t o r * was "the worker's I s o l a t i o n from s o c i e t y . n K e r r , C l a r k , Labor and Management i n I n d u s t r i a l S o c i e t y . "The I n t e r -i n d u s t r y P r o p e n s i t y to S t r i k e , " (New York,1964),pp.129-133. For the r e g i o n west of the Rockies the f o l l o w i n g s t u d i e s are germaine to t h i s q u e s t i o n : Bradwin,Edwin,V/., The  Bunkhouse Man: 1903-1914(New York,1928), p.271. Parker, C a r l e t o n , The Casual Laborer and Other Essays(New York,1920), p.10. Jensen,V.H., o p . c i t . , pp.1-3. 20 " O r i g i n s of Labour Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia," o p . c i t . According to t h i s source, the Nanaimo Free Press c a r r i e d n o t i c e s of union meetings at Wellington and Nanaimo from I877 to 1883. In p r a c t i c a l l y every n o t i c e the names of the o f f i c e r s had changed. This l a c k of c o n t i n u i t y was undoubtedly a r e s u l t of the o f f i c e r s being dismissed. - *6 -t h a t had. caused the previous s t r i k e . By 1883 i t had become obvious from experiences that W e l l i n g t o n was no longer a s u i t a b l e headquarters f o r the Miners' S o c i e t y . On August 1883 the W e l l i n g t o n miners met i n the Nanaimo I n s t i t u t e H a l l and drew up a r e s o l u t i o n to be presented to the company. The company had reduced the p r i c e of c o a l p a i d to miners down to $.75 per ton and t h i s was the f i r s t i s s u e on the agenda. As the company could not j u s t i f y the r e d u c t i o n v by any reported d e c l i n e i n the market p r i c e of c o a l , the miners voted to s t r i k e f o r an increase to $.90 per ton. The second main r e s o l u t i o n f o r which the miners were prepared t o s t r i k e demanded the re-instatement of o f f i c e r s of the Miners' P r o t e c t i o n S o c i e t y who had been r e c e n t l y dismissed f o r union a c t i v i t y i n the mines. With the aim of e s t a b l i s h i n g a common wage s c a l e and working c o n d i t i o n s throughout the c o a l f i e l d and strengthening the weak P r o t e c t i o n S o c i e t y , the W e l l i n g t o n miners a l s o considered forming branch unions at Nanaimo and 14 21 East W e l l i n g t o n mines. At the August hth meeting miners argued that they needed a trade union f o r economic, p o l i t i c a l and moral reasons. Mr. James Young, a stran g e r , s a i d the object of trade unions was to s e t t l e disputes between employer and employee, and both had equal r i g h t s to s e t t l e wages. In t h i s p r o v i n c e , he s a i d , the p r i c e of c o a l i s going up, and yet wages stand the same, and sometimes go down, and unions are - ¥f -a b s o l u t e l y necessary; he urged the men t o stand by each other. Mr. C.O.Locke s a i d c a p i t a l i s always ready to keep the workmen down, and workingmen should be v e l e c t e d to the L e g i s l a t u r e f o r t h w i t h , by workingmen. They had power and should use i t r a t i o n a l l y and keep w i t h i n the bounds of the law. ^ A miner, Thomas R. Jones expressed concern over statements Robert Dunsmuir had made to the e f f e c t that miners had l i t t l e need of higher wages since they would spend the d i f f e r e n c e i n the pubs. Jones advocated t h a t the miners temper t h e i r d r i n k i n g h a b i t s and prove by t h e i r behavior they deserved higher wages. But i t was d o u b t f u l i f Robert Dunsmuir or h i s son James, who became manager of the mine about t h i s time, would have recognized even a union of a b s t a i n e r s . The union of which Thomas R.Jones became pr e s i d e n t the next year never r e c e i v e d o f f i c a l approval by the company. The company would not meet the demands of the W e l l i n g t o n miners and s h o r t l y a f t e r August 4, 1883 a s t r i k e began which l a s t e d f o r about three months. & f t e r s i x weeks the company y was prepared t o meet the miners' o r i g i n a l wage demands but the miners were apparently confident of the s t r e n g t h of t h e i r case f o r they r e v i s e d t h e i r o r i g i n a l demand upward to an increase to $1.00 from $.75 per ton. I t was p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s new demand occurred because the company would not promise t o •L r e f r a i n from d i s m i s s i n g members of the union. The company 22 Quoted i n James K.Nesbitt's a r t i c l e , "Nanaimo Coal Miners were most R e b e l l i o u s , " The V i c t o r i a D a i l y C o l o n i s t . November 13, 1966, p.10. - k5 -refused the revised wage demand and i n October Robert Dunsmuir f i l l e d the places of the s t r i k i n g miners with Chinese labour and imported more workers from San Francisco. The miners f a i l e d to achieve their revised or t h e i r o r i g i n a l wage demands and instead proposed to the company that they would accept $.75 per ton i f the company would remove the Chinese workers from underground operations. This proposal was turned down and the miners either d r i f t e d back on the 23 company's terms or l e f t Wellington. Before 1883 the employment of Chinese workers i n the mines had not been a s i g n i f i c a n t issue to the miners. In 187^ there had only been 60 Chinese workers employed out of y a t o t a l of 3^9 miners on the c o a l f i e l d . By 1883 over one t h i r d of the 973 miners reported on the f i e l d were Chinese and most of these were employed at Wellington. This large increase i n the employment of Chinese workers at wages one t h i r d to one half of those paid to whites i n the mines was a r e s u l t of increased immigration of Chinese workers into * the province as a whole. When R. Dunsmuir and Sons used Chinese workers to break the s t r i k e of I883, the company challenged the union miners' basic conviction that they had a r i g h t to s t r i k e without being replaced. The hated "blackleg" 23 "Origins of Uni ons," op . c i t . Nanaimo Free Press.October 9,l883)P» 2h "Report of the Minister of Mines," 187^-1883, passim. From 1871 to 1881 the Chinese population i n B r i t i s h Columbia increased from 1,5^8 to ^.350. Census of Canada. 1881, v o l . 1 , pp.298-299; 1891, p.366. - 46 -i n the United Kingdom had become the equally despised "scab" i n North America. Once i n the mines Chinese workers could not compre- Y hend the many dangers that awaited the inexperienced. Part of the reason for th e i r apparent carelessness was the obvious d i f f i c u l t y of communicating instructions to them i n English. Miners believed, and the evidence i n c e r t a i n notable cases confirmed th e i r b e l i e f , that Chinese workmen caused many ^ 25 unnecessary accidents. O f f i c i a l reports of mines accidents indicate that Chinese workmen paid dearly f o r t h e i r w i l l i n g -ness to take employment i n the mines. But the dangers experienced by s k i l l e d miners as a r e s u l t of working with inexperienced Chinese miners was not the most important aspect of the question of t h e i r employment i n the mines. When miners came f o r t h to express t h e i r views on Chinese *-immigration, economic arguments usually dominated t h e i r statements. James Young, secretary of the miners' union, argued that the employment of Chinese workmen lowered the general wage l e v e l and made a few wealthy employers even more < economically powerful because of the threat they held over white miners. According to Young, the Chinese were the . . . a l l too dangerous competitors i n the labor market, while their docile s e r v i l i t y , the natural 25 See p a r t i c u l a r l y the "Report of the Minister of Mines, 0 1879, pp.251-254. - h7 -outcome of centuries of grinding poverty and humble submissiveness to a most oppressive form of government, rendered them doubly dangerous as the w i l l i n g tools whereby grasp-ing and tyrannical employers grind.down a l l labor to the lowest l i v i n g p o i n t . ^ D James Young blamed the federal and p r o v i n c i a l governments f o r "aiding the grasping ambition of in d i v i d u a l s " and encouraging Chinese immigration. 2' 7 As Robert Dunsmuir \*as elected M.P.P. for the D i s t r i c t of Nanaimo i n 1882, he was probably the p o l i t i c a l representative Young had i n mind. A further c r i t i c i s m of the employment of Chinese workers i n and around the mines concerned the employment of young men and the growth of a s k i l l e d labour force. James Young contended: At present there i s p r a c t i c a l l y no opening for < boys i n the mines of the d i s t r i c t . , . , Chinamen being almost exclusively employed (at u n s k i l l e d work). Under such conditions a race of p r a c t i c a l miners, trained from th e i r childhood to the d i f f i c u l t i e s and dangers of mining, can hardly even a r i s e , and there i s a danger of the c a l l i n g dropping in t o the hands of the most ignorant c l a s s . I n t e l l i g e n t men finding themselves blocked at every turn, w i l l eventually leave mining for some other pursuit. 0 The idea that mining was a ""calling" to which a miner dedicated ^ himself and became by stages a s k i l l e d worker seemed appropriate 26 Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, Ottawa, 1885, p.156. 27 I b i d . , p.157-28 Ibid., p.88. - HQ -t o a s t a b l e mining community i n which most young men entered the mines as t h e i r f a t h e r s had done. But there was l i t t l e o p portunity f o r such a community to grow a t W e l l i n g t o n . Besides the problem of the employment of Chinese labour i n the mines, the b a s i s f o r a s t a b l e community, r e g u l a r employment, was too f r e q u e n t l y i n t e r r u p t e d by s t r i k e s . The " i n t e l l i g e n t men" such as James Young were deprived of employment f o r t h e i r trade union a c t i v i t y and l e f t f o r Nanaimo where unionism was not p r o s c r i b e d . Between the miners and the mine-owners a t W e l l i n g t o n there was t o t a l disagreement on the Chinese q u e s t i o n . John Bryden, the general manager of R. Dunsmuir and Sons, found the Chinese " i n d u s t r i o u s , sober, economical and law-abiding, 29 more so than the same c l a s s of white l a b o r e r s " . He and Robert Dunsmuir strenuously opposed Chinese exclusion:; as the e f f e c t "would be s e r i o u s , as many i n d u s t r i e s would be unable to continue, f o r want of a s u i t a b l e c l a s s of l a b o r " t o do u n s k i l l e d work.^° Robert Dunsmuir s t a t e d t h a t Chinese labourers had r e p l a c e d many whites i n h i s mines because the c l a t t e r were too expensive. He opposed James Young's idea t h a t white immigrants would take u n s k i l l e d jobg and he may have h i n t e d at some of h i s own e a r l y ambition when he s a i d : 29 Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, o p . c i t . p.110. 30 I b i d . , p . l l l . - 49 -The (Chinese) have, moreover, p i t c h e d i n t o that k i n d of work which, from i t s arduous nature and humble c h a r a c t e r , has deterred the p r o p o r t i o n of incoming white men from accepting w i l l i n g l y i n a new country where they immediately expected to b e t t e r t h e i r p o s i t i o n , or step i n t o a b e t t e r p lace than the one they j u s t l e f t . 3 1 The Chinese performed labour which others r e f u s e d t o perform "at wages which made such mining pay". Thus Robert Dunsmuir b e l i e v e d that i f h i s miners asked f o r too l a r g e an increase he was j u s t i f i e d i n r e p l a c i n g them w i t h Chinese l a b o u r . S.M. Robins, the Superintendent of Vancouver Coal at Nanaimo, disagreed to some extent w i t h h i s competitors on the i s l a n d . He b e l i e v e d that Chinese labour had been u s e f u l i n doing manual work such as c l e a r i n g land f o r the company th a t whites had not been w i l l i n g to do f o r low wages. While he continued to employ Chinese i n the mines i n u n s k i l l e d j o b s , he s t a t e d t h a t t h e i r usefulness i n u n s k i l l e d work was over and that they should be g r a d u a l l y e x p e l l e d from the ( 32 p r o v i n c e . He advocated the encouragement of white immigration by making t r a n s p o r t a t i o n to Canada f r e e . S.M. Robins agreed v/ith James Young concerning one of the e f f e c t s of Chinese immigration. Robins s a i d that young men were not w i l l i n g to take up u n s k i l l e d labour because manual work was 31 Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, o p . c i t . p. 118". 32 I b i d . , p. XVI. - 50 -looked upon as f i t only f o r "an i n f e r i o r r a c e " . The presence of Chinese, t h e r e f o r e , d i d discourage white immigra-t i o n to some extent. The employment of n e a r l y 300 Chinese workers at We l l i n g t o n by 1883 and t h e i r use as s t r i k e breakers placed a tremendous o b s t a c l e i n the way of the miners achieving wage increase s and the r e c o g n i t i o n of miners' committees i n the mines. However, the existence of the Chinese i n the mines merely complicated f u r t h e r what was the most fundamental * is s u e i n a l l the miners 1 s t r i k e s . Since 1871 the miners had demanded that Robert Dunsmuir recognize t h e i r r i g h t to determine, a t l e a s t i n p a r t , the c o n d i t i o n s under which they worked. I n t h e i r s t r u g g l e s to achieve t h i s . r i g h t the miners evolved a philosophy of unionism which der i v e d from the United Kingdom and which f o r them j u s t i f i e d t h e i r demands. James Young had s a i d on August h, 1883 that the object of trade unions "was to s e t t l e disputes between employer and 31+ { employee, and both had equal r i g h t s to s e t t l e wages." Robert Dunsmuir un e q u i v o c a l l y r e j e c t e d t h i s equal r i g h t s theory. I n h i s o p i n i o n the mineowner had absolute property r i g h t s over c o n d i t i o n s of employment and miners had no r i g h t t o change those c o n d i t i o n s unless the mineowner approved. 33 L o c . c i t . 34 C i t e d i n N e s b i t t , James, K., o p . c i t . . p.10. - 51 -As the law regarding property and c i v i l r i g h t s favoured the mineowner who wished to d i s c r i m i n a t e against union 35 miners or r e p l a c e them w i t h other workers, Robert Dunsmuir took whatever measures he b e l i e v e d necessary t o break the miners' unions. The years 1871 to 1883 saw the e v o l u t i o n of mining unions on the Vancouver I s l a n d c o a l f i e l d . Miners formed unions at W e l l i n g t o n as a r e s u l t of the f a i l u r e of i n d i v i d u a l miners t o s e t t l e disputes over wages and working c o n d i t i o n s w i t h R. Dunsmuir and Sons. The o r g a n i z a t i o n s of unions a t W e l l i n g t o n f o r the purpose of making c o l l e c t i v e demands on the company was not, t h e r e f o r e , the cause of s t r i k e s but the r e s u l t of the i n a b i l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l miners to negotiate what they b e l i e v e d were t o l e r a b l e working c o n d i t i o n s and reasonable wages. 35 Logan, H.A., Trade Unions i n Canada ( T o r o n t o , ! 0 ^ ) ^ . 1 * - ^ . Anton, F.R., The Role of Government i n the Settlement of  I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n Canada (Montreal, 1962), pp.51-52. CHAPTER II The Knights of Labour and the Emergence of the Miners'and Mine Labourers'Protective Association: 1884-1891 The f a i l u r e of the 1883 s t r i k e of the Protective Society r a i s e d the question i n the minds of the Wellington miners whether the Society was an e f f e c t i v e enough organiza-t i o n to combat the anti-union p o l i c y of R. Dunsmuir and Sons. As there were s i g n i f i c a n t grievances which remained unresolved at Wellington following the 1883 s t r i k e , the question of the future of unionism was an urgent one for the miners to consider. As a consequence they turned to a new ^ form of union organization. By 1884 the s p e c i f i c grievances and issues which miners found could only be resolved by c o l l e c t i v e action, had become permanent features of the miner's working l i f e . Miners experienced great d i f f i c u l t y i n convincing p i t bosses and superintendents to pay miners for digging d i r t and rock along with coal and t h i s source of dispute was aggravated by the company's practice of docking miners for any excess d i r t which appeared i n t h e i r boxes at the weighing machines. As the general wage l e v e l at Wellington dropped from $1.20 i n 1871 to $.75 per ton i n 1883, disputes over the handling of d i r t and rock became more serious because miners could no longer a f f o r d to ignore adjustments which favoured the company. - 52 -- 53 -The f a i l u r e of the 1883 s t r i k e at Wellington also l e f t for the future the problem of the employment of increasing numbers of Chinese workers. Chinese workers posed a serious threat to white miners because they were w i l l i n g to work f o r much lower wages and because they were careless of the many dangers involved i n working i n the mines. The fa u l t e d condition of the is l a n d coal seams and the large number of inexperienced Chinese and white miners who mined these seams were the main reasons why these mines were the most dangerous i n the world for miners to work i n . In the years a f t e r lQ8h a l l these unresolved problems increased i n scope and i n t e n s i t y as the mining population m u l t i p l i e d . In 1883 the Nanaimo I n s t i t u t e H a l l became the new 2 headquarters of the Miners' Mutual Protective Society. The f a i l u r e of successive Wellington s t r i k e s coupled with the e growth of a stable union climate at Nanaimo induced the leading 1 "Report of the Minister of Mines," passim.. 1877-1887. In these years there were 321 f a t a l i t i e s on the c o a l f i e l d or approximately 170 f a t a l i t i e s per m i l l i o n tons of coal pro-duced. During the years 1892-1901 the f a t a l i t y rate dropped to 12 f a t a l i t i e s per m i l l i o n yet an o f f i c i a l report i n 1902 concluded that the Vancouver Island mines were the most dangerous i n the world. See B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, "'Report of the Special Commission to Inquire into the Causes of Explosions i n Coal Mines," Sessional Papers. 1902, p.J l 6 . 2 "Origins of Labour Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia," op.cit..p.2 . - 54 -trade unionists to s e t t l e i n Nanaimo. Coincidental with the union's move to Nanaimo, the f i r s t i n t e r n a t i o n a l union to reach the i s l a n d , the Knights of Labour, established Local 4 3017 Trade Assembly i n Nanaimo i n January 1884. The Knights of Labour was i n organization and structure one big union. O r i g i n a l l y formed i n Philadelphia i n 1869, the union attracted as many as 1,200,000 members to i t s assemblies by 1888. When the Knights spread to the mountain states and the west coast i n the l880's, many d i f f e r e n t trade unions joined t h e i r trade 5 assemblies. The basic assumption of the Knights was that the introduction of machines i n industry had gradually reduced the number of s k i l l e d workmen i n the labour force.^ This process caused employers to treat labour as merely adjuncts of machines and was accompanied by a gradual reduction i n wages. To restore humanity to labour and to f i g h t economic deprivation the Knights proselytized everywhere i n North America on the need for a l l workmen to unite together i n < trade assemblies. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the programme of the Knights 3 "Origins of Unions" op . c i t . . see also Smith,B.R.D. ,op_.cit., p.119. S.M. Robins r e c a l l e d the state of unionism i n Nanaimo when he arrived to become superintendent i n 1884 i n Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p.295. 4 Nanaimo Free Press. January 26,1884,p.3, i n "Origins of Unions," l o c . c i t . 5 For discussions of.the Knights of Labour and the i r i n f l u -ence see 3rissenden,Paul F., The I.W.W.: A Study i n American Syndicalism(New York,1920), p.31. Ware,Norman J . , The Labor  Movement i n the United States:l860-l895(New York,1929), pp.109-110. Loosemore,T.R., op.cit.p.27. 6 Brissenden, Paul F., o p . c i t . . p.33. - 55 -i n c l u d e d the s u b s t i t u t i o n of a r b i t r a t i o n i n p l a c e of long < disputes as a method of s e t t l i n g s t r i k e s ; the achievement of an eight-hour day; government ownership of telephones, ^ telegraphs and r a i l r o a d s ; and a c t i v e d i s c u s s i o n of p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s i n union meetings w i t h the aim of securing l e g i s l a -t i o n i n favour of workingmen. The o r g a n i z a t i o n and i d e a l s of the Knights had some i n f l u e n c e on the c o a l miners who j o i n e d the K n i g h t s ' assembly i n 188^. In the two to f i v e years t h a t miners belonged to the assembly the miners were the l a r g e s t and foremost union 7 i n the body. In 188H- Thomas R. Jones was e l e c t e d p r e s i d e n t and James Young became se c r e t a r y of the Kn i g h t s . These miners had been leaders i n the We l l i n g t o n s t r i k e of 1883. The i n f l u e n c e of the Knights on the miners was t w o f o l d : the Knights encouraged the miners t o consider p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n as a means of improving working c o n d i t i o n s i n the mines; secondly, the Knights brought the s k i l l e d miners and the labourers together i n the same assembly where the two groups y had more opportunity to discu s s c l o s e r u n i t y i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to improve c o n d i t i o n s i n the mines. However, i t remained to be seen whether the Knights of Labour could adapt t h e i r g i d e a l s t o the p r a c t i c a l needs of the miners. 7 Nanaimo miners l e f t the assembly apparently i n 1886. W e l l i n g t o n miners l e f t the assembly i n 1889. 8 Loosemore, T.E.,op.cit.. pp . l f0- l f5. Brissenden s t a t e s that the Knights i n North America d e c l i n e d f o r three main reasons. Of these one seems a p p l i c a b l e to the miners, namely t h e i r d e s i r e f o r complete independence from a cen-t r a l i z e d trades assembly. The o r g a n i z a t i o n to which miners belonged had to concern i t s e l f w i t h the day to day problems of the miners. See pp.33-31*-. - 56 -Two years a f t e r the Knights organized a trade assembly the miners and mine labourers a t Nanaimo l e f t the assembly and formed the Miners'and Mine Labo u r e r s ' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n . ^ I n forming a union w i t h the labourers the s k i l l e d miners must have been convinced that they c o u l d not ga i n important concessions from the Vancouver Coal Company unless they had the support of the mine labourers who made ^ up about h a l f the working f o r c e employed i n the mines. The s k i l l e d miners who worked f o r c o n t r a c t wages made higher wages than the labourers who worked f o r a d a i l y wage. The o l d P r o t e c t i v e S o c i e t y had attempted to e s t a b l i s h minimum standards of s a f e t y i n the mines to enable the i n d i v i d u a l miner to earn the best p o s s i b l e c o n t r a c t wages without r i s k i n g h i s l i f e each time he entered the mine. However, the miners could never be c e r t a i n when they s t r u c k f o r improve-ments that the labourers might not take t h e i r p l a c e i n the mine and keep working during the s t r i k e . The new a l l i a n c e between miners and labourers strengthened the bargaining power of the miners and the a l l i a n c e was i n f l u e n c e d by the Knights who had urged that the s k i l l e d and the u n s k i l l e d u n i t e i n one union. A f t e r the formation of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n the Nanaimo miners gained some s i g n i f i c a n t improvements i n vrorking c o n d i t i o n s . As Vancouver Coal consented to the 9 Nanaimo Free Press, February 13, 1886, p . l i n " O r i g i n s of Unions," op_.cit. - 57 -changes d i r e c t l y a f t e r a mine d i s a s t e r k i l l e d 150 miners 10 * at Nanaimo i n I887, the changes were not s o l e l y a t t r i b u t -able to the new bargaining power of the union. As a r e s u l t of the e x p l o s i o n i n 1887, the miners convinced superintendent S.M. Robins that he should never again employ Chinese workers underground. The miners blamed the carelessness of Chinese workers f o r the e x p l o s i o n and the company submitted t o the miners' demand f o r the removal of Chinese w o r k e r s . A f t e r the e x p l o s i o n the union made permanent the p r a c t i c e of r e g u l a r l y sending an i n s p e c t i o n committee through the mines to check f o r gas and other working hazards. The Mines Regulations Act of 1877 provided f o r i n s p e c t i o n committees but the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n was the f i r s t union on the c o a l f i e l d to e l e c t miners to the p o s i t i o n s on a re g u l a r b a s i s . But when miners began p e t i t i o n i n g the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e 12 v i n 1888 to remove Chinese workers from the mines, the i n f l u e n c e of c o a l mining, f i s h packing, and r a i l w a y i n d u s t r i a l -i s t s and other employers of Chinese labour prevented the 13 passage of the l e g i s l a t i o n . 10 For d e t a i l s of t h i s d i s a s t e r see "Report of the M i n i s t e r of Mines," I887, p.324. 11 S.M. Robins, Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , 1903, p.298. 12 B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, " P e t i t i o n Regarding E x c l u s i o n of Chinese from Coal Mines," S.P., l888,p.404. 13 L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, J o u r n a l s . 1888, p.74. - 58 -In f a c t p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n as a means of gaining improvements i n working c o n d i t i o n s i n the mines was on the ^ whole l e s s e f f e c t i v e than d i r e c t a c t i o n . I n 1889 the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n gained an ei g h t hour day i n the mines of the l*f Vancouver Coal Company. The miners were i n a strong p o s i t i o n t o o b t a i n the r e d u c t i o n because the company was prospering from one of the p e r i o d i c booms i n the San F r a n c i s c o 15 c o a l market and c o u l d not a f f o r d a long s t r i k e . Miners from the North of England, who pioneered trade unionism a t v Nanaimo, had already won a seven hour day i n Northumberland and these miners l i k e l y l e d the way i n the demand f o r an e i g h t hour day a t Nanaimo. I t would take f i f t e e n years before the l e g i s l a t u r e f i n a l l y enacted an e i g h t hour day f o r a l l c o a l mines i n the province. W e l l i n g t o n miners watched w i t h concern the gradual improvement of working c o n d i t i o n s at Nanaimo from 1887 to I889. Compared t o Nanaimo miners i n I889 W e l l i n g t o n miners ^ had poorer working c o n d i t i o n s and wages. A branch of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n was not formed at W e l l i n g t o n i n lQ8$ and W e l l i n g t o n miners had to walk to Nanaimo when they attended union meetings. Robert Dunsmuir's w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d p o l i c y of d i s m i s s i n g union o f f i c e r s made i m p r a c t i c a l the 2h L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, " S e l e c t Committee to Inquire i n t o the W e l l i n g t o n S t r i k e , " S^P., I89I, p.28*r. 15 For d e t a i l s of the company's h i s t o r y from 1862 to 1903 see C u r r i e , A.W., "The Vancouver Coal Mining Company," Queen's Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 70(Spring ,1963):No.l, pp.50-63. The "Report of t h e M i n i s t e r of Mines," 187^- passim.. a l s o contains much i n f o r m a t i o n on company developments. - 59 -formation of a union at Wellington. But a mine explosion K which k i l l e d 78 miners at Wellington i n 1888 angered the miners and united them once again* The miners blamed the company for the deaths because i t employed careless Chinese workers who caused the accident and because the company would not pay miners to remove dangerous coal dust which 16 c o l l e c t e d around underground digging operations. With Nanaimo and Wellington miners united against continued employment of Chinese workers Robert Dunsmuir consented to K remove Chinese workers from underground operations at Welling-ton. As Robert Dunsmuir's competitor at Nanaimo also had consented to remove Chinese workers, neither company suffered 17 a competitive disadvantage. The Wellington explosion of 1888 immediately sparked renewed attempts to obtain union working conditions i n the mines. As the Wellington miners did not form a branch of the Miners' Association at Wellington, they continued to meet occasionally around Wellington under the auspices of the Knights of Labour. The Knights may have appeared a rather innocuous organization to Robert Dunsmuir f o r between the years 1884-1888 there was no reported c o n f l i c t between the company and the Knights. However, af t e r the 1888 explosion the miners demanded some control over working conditions i n 16 "Select Committee to Inquire into the Wellington Strike," op.cit., p. 262. 17 S.M. Robins, the superintendent at Nanaimo i n 1888, t o l d how the two companies and the Chinese cooperated with the miners' demand fo r the removal of the Chinese workers. Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p.298. - 60 -the mines. They met John Bryden, one of the company's managers, and demanded r e c o g n i t i o n of a grievance committee i n the mines. John Bryden r e l a t e d what happened at the i n t e r v i e w : Q.When d i f f i c u l t i e s arose, what method d i d you employ? A. The method u s u a l l y was i n d i v i d u a l l y , but sometimes they would send a committee. Q.The men could go and see you p e r s o n a l l y i f they vranted t o ? A. Yes...On one occasion they d i d ask i f we would recognize a body, that i s the Knights of Labour, and t h e i r grievance committee. I asked them the nature of the Knights of Labour and the grievance committee. They t o l d me the nature which i s v i r t u a l l y t o run the mines. I t o l d them i f Mr. Dunsmuir has engaged you t o run the mines you can do so but i f I am to run the mines I want to run them. As t o your Knights of Labour and grievance committee running the mines, I w i l l d i g clams f o r a l i v i n g f i r s t . I had no more tr o u b l e about the Knights of Labour . 1 ° The company's r e f u s a l to permit a grievance or p i t committee to f u n c t i o n i n the mines was a t a c t i c a l e r r o r . Had i t permitted t h i s common p r a c t i c e the company might have saved i t s e l f the l o s s due to s t r i k e s which occurred almost ^ continuously from January 1889 t o November I891. According to W e l l i n g t o n miners, grievance committees would have solved disputes i n the mines before they grew to s t r i k e p r o p o r t i o n s . 1 Having f a i l e d to achieve r e c o g n i t i o n of union committees i n the mines i n 1888, the W e l l i n g t o n miners i n January 1889 demanded a $.15 per ton wage increase over the 2 $.75 per ton r a t e that had been p a i d since the s t r i k e of 1883. 18 S.M.Robins. Minutes of Evidence op.cit..p.265. 19 " S e l e c t Committee to Inquire i n t o the W e l l i n g t o n S t r i k e , " o p . c i t . , p.285. 20 A very u s e f u l h i s t o r y of wage changes on the c o a l f i e l d was given by the e d i t o r of the Cumberland News.March 18,1899, p.6. - 61 -The miners had at l e a s t two reasons f o r making the demand f o r a wage increase i n January I889. F i r s t , there was the t r a d i t i o n a l grievance over diggi n g d i r t . Many miners were d i s s a t i s f i e d because p i t bosses and superintendents at W e l l i n g t o n would not agree to pay them enough f o r diggi n g out the excess d i r t t h a t accumulated i n the process of mining c o a l . As the d e c i s i o n of the bosses was f i n a l over how much miners r e c e i v e d f o r t h i s e x t r a work, miners resented / the f a c t t h a t p i t committees were not permitted to help them ad j u d i c a t e disputes w i t h the bosses. Secondly, since the year 1883 at l e a s t , W e l l i n g t o n miners had r e c e i v e d $.7i P6** ton l e s s than Nanaimo miners and the i n e q u a l i t y over wages was aggravated by the miners 1 knowledge th a t the Vancouver Coal Company permitted union p i t committees to f u n c t i o n i n 21 i t s mines. Robert Dunsmuir t o l d S i r Joseph Trutch how he d e a l t w i t h the miners a f t e r they s t r u c k i n January over the $.15 wage i n c r e a s e : I had a s t r i k e on i n my works at W e l l i n g t o n the f i r s t of the year, which I conquered at the end of three weeks, and the men are very so r r y now, more so, the r i n g l e a d e r s , who I would not employ again on any account. ^ Without a l a r g e union o r g a n i z a t i o n to support them the miners were unable to stand a long s t r i k e and the s t r i k e terminated before the end of January. 21 L o c . c i t . 22 "Robert Dunsmuir to S i r Joseph Trutch," February,n.d. ,1889. C i t e d i n an a r t i c l e by James K.Ne s b i t t , Vancouver Sun, J u l y 22, 1965, p.12. Mr.Nesbitt s a i d that the l e t t e r had been r e c e n t l y discovered. Joseph W i l l i a m Trutch was the f i r s t lieutenant-governor of the province from I871 to 1876. - 62 -Mounting o p p o s i t i o n t o Robert Dunsmuir's labour p o l i c y soon l e d to another s t r i k e i n May 1889 at the y e a r - o l d mine ^ 7 * 23 at Cumberland which l a y between W e l l i n g t o n and Nanaimo. The cause of the dispute as explained by Robert Dunsmuir to S i r Joseph Trutch concerned the employment of Chinese workers as pushers i n the mines. . . . i t seems I have not got r i d of one s t r i k e , but another takes place a t Comox Mines....Chinese had been sent underground t o run out boxes.... Everything i s at a s t a n d s t i l l , and w i l l be u n t i l I get other men, as not one of the o l d handSp]. w i l l earn another d o l l a r at any of my works. Judging from Robert Dunsmuir's d e s c r i p t i o n of the s t r i k e r s as " o l d hands", many of them must have worked f o r him at W e l l i n g t o n and the miners assumed that Dunsmuir would not send Chinese workers underground i n h i s mines again a f t e r he * had given h i s assurance of t h i s i n 1888. Although Cumberland mines were the s a f e s t mines on the c o a l f i e l d f o r miners t o work i n , and Chinese workers caused fewer accidents there * 25 than i n other mines, the miners were opposed t o t h e i r 23 Some d e t a i l s concerning the founding of the mine and i t s e a r l y h i s t o r y are found i n Bucham, A.F. "The Company O f f i c e , " A T y p e s c r i p t h i s t o r y of the company o f f i c e from I889 to 1895, PABC, 5 PP., n.d. 24 "Robert Dunsmuir to S i r Joseph Trutch," o p . c i t . T p.12. Robert Dunsmuir d i e d i n l a t e 1889 and h i s son James became head of the f i r m . Robert had been elected M.P.P. f o r Nanaimo i n 1882 and 1886 and was President of the C o u n c i l at the time of h i s death. James became M.P.P. f o r Comox i n I898, f o r Newcastle i n 1900, Premier from 1900 t o 1902 and lieutenant-governor from 1906 t o 1909. Dunsmuir F i l e s , PABC. By I089 the company of R.Dunsmuir and Sons c o n t r o l l e d the mines, the Esquimalt & Nanaimo r a i l w a y and l a n d grant which was report e d to be worth $20,000,000.00, a growing steamship l i n e , tug boats, extensive r e a l e s t a t e i n V i c t o r i a and r e a l e s t a t e and wharves i n San F r a n c i s c o . 25 Bucham, A.F., "The Nanaimo C o a l f i e l d of B r i t i s h Columbia," Transactions of the Canadian I n s t i t u t e of Mining and Metal- lurgy., v o l . 50. 1947. P.472. - 63 -employment underground and the s t r i k e l a s t e d u n t i l August I889. The f a c t that the s t r i k e l a s t e d from May to August suggests that other issues may have been present i n the s t r i k e i t i s probable that the miners demanded a wage increase from $•75 to $.90 per ton as had occurred at Well ington i n January. The f a i l u r e of the miners to win the s t r i k e was the main reason why i n February 1890 the Cumberland miners were conspicuously absent from the new movement to e s t a b l i s h a ^ d i s t r i c t - w i d e organizat ion of the Miners ' and Mine Labourers' Protec t ive A s s o c i a t i o n . The f a i l u r e of the Well ington and Cumberland s t r i k e s i n the years 1888 and 1889 convinced the miners that a new strategy was necessary i f they were to gain improvements i n wages and working c o n d i t i o n s . The Knights of Labour had p r a c t i c a l l y disappeared from the c o a l f i e l d by 1889 and the Well ington miners l o g i c a l l y turned to the Nanaimo Miners 1 < A s s o c i a t i o n f o r strength and support . In February I89O the Well ington miners c a l l e d a mass meeting to consider the question of demanding o f f i c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n of the Miners ' and Mine Labourers ' Pro tec t ive A s s o c i a t i o n i n the Well ington mines. At the meeting to which about 1,000 miners came, each mine on the f i e l d except Cumberland sent delegates . There was a new s p i r i t of m i l i t a n c y i n the a i r as miners 26 Cumberland miners h e l d one union meeting i n Cumberland i n ear ly I89O but the company dismissed the o f f i c e r s the next day. Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p p . 3 9 0 -3 9 1 . - 6h -gathered i n an open f i e l d around a r a i s e d p l a t f o r m to hear 27 speeches. Two meetings occurred i n Nanaimo which approved a r e s o l u t i o n t o run union supported candidates i n the forthcoming p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n . Further meetings took p l a c e which culminated i n another mass r a l l y i n the f i e l d s between 28 W e l l i n g t o n and Nanaimo. At the l a s t meeting i n May the W e l l i n g t o n miners reported that the company had refused t o recognize a union committee of miners. The committee was composed of r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s on the f i e l d : two miners from the United Kingdom, one German, one I t a l i a n , one B e l g i a n and oneHussian F i n n . United as never before, the W e l l i n g t o n miners w i t h the support of the Nanaimo miners c a l l e d a s t r i k e on May 17, I89O. The miners demanded r e c o g n i t i o n of the M i n e r s ' A s s o c i a t i o n . The demand f o r the r e c o g n i t i o n of the M i n e r s 1 A s s o c i a t i o n was the most r a d i c a l demand the W e l l i n g t o n ' miners had y e t madei v a l i n e demand meant i n e f f e c t that the miners wanted the equivalent of property r i g h t s over t h e i r / ' *" / ' 27 Nanaimo Free Press. February 1, 1890, p.3, i n " O r i g i n s of Unions," o p . c i t . The Free Press s a i d the miners were a g i t a t e d over a wage r e d u c t i o n at W e l l i n g t o n mines but the evidence from the " S e l e c t Committee, w op.cit.,p.262. i n d i c a t e s t h i s r e d u c t i o n occurred i n one or two tunnels out of the s i x that were operating. The standard wage was $.75 per ton and $.90 i n the one or two where d i r t and rock were p a r t i c u l a r l y onerous to d i g out. 28 The meeting was c a l l e d f o r p o l i t i c a l and economic reasons. See Loosemore,T.R. o p . c i t . , p.*+9."Select Committee," o p . c i t . . p.284. - 65 -conditions of work. There was of course no basis i n law as yet fo r such,a demand; the l e g a l system recognized only that companies could hire and f i r e at w i l l or lock s t r i k e r s out of their works i f a dispute occurred, When Wellington miners i n 1888 asked manager John Bryden i f he would recognize a grievance committee of the Knights of Labour, he refused t h e i r request because he believed the miners were r e a l l y asking to , r trun the mines." But the miners were not asking to take over the mines; they wanted a kind of extra-legal control over how their wages and working conditions were determined. A Select Committee of the l e g i s l a t u r e which investigated the st r i k e which began on May 17, 1890 uncovered evidence which explained how grievances which were not ameliorated could lead to a s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l protest 30 movement on the c o a l f i e l d . Nanaimo miners had already achieved an eight hour day i "bank to bank" i n 1889 and this was one of the issues which prompted the Wellington miners to c a l l a mass meeting i n February I89O to consider t h e i r grievances. Wellington miners 29 This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the miners' basic aims was suggested by a number of studies i n Mark Perlman, Labor Union Theories  i n America (New York, 1958) , p.162. William ( B i l l ) Haywood, former miner and secretary of the Western Federation of Miners, wrote i n 1911: "the f i g h t i s f i r s t of a l l a shop f i g h t . " Autobiography (New York, 1929) , p . l 6 2 . 3 0 The platform included measures to control land monopolies; to i n s e r t a clause i n a l l charters granted by the p r o v i n c i a l government prohibiting the employment of Chinese workers; to shorten hours of work; to improve health and safety regulations i n a l l i n d u s t r i e s . See "Workingmen1s Platform" i n Loosemore, T.R., op.cit., Appendix p. v i . - 6 6 -assembled at the pithead at 7sOO a.m. and emerged at 3*30 p.m. James Dunsmuir r e p o r t e d l y t o l d a committee of miners that they could come up from the p i t at 3:00 p.m. i f they wished 31 as the half-hour was given as a meal break. One of the members on the committee, John Suggett, t o l d the S e l e c t Committee of the l e g i s l a t u r e t h a t he had not heard James 32 Dunsmuir make the statement. Suggett s a i d , too, t h a t another grievance was brought t o manager John Bryden's a t t e n t i o n by the union committee a f t e r they had seen James Dunsmuir. The grievance concerned miners who a r r i v e d a f t e r the 7s00 a.m. l i f t had gone down but who were not permitted to enter the mine that day. John Bryden t o l d the union committee he was not aut h o r i z e d t o reach any settlement w i t h 33 the union and the committee reported h i s statements t o the mass meeting which voted to s t r i k e f o r union r e c o g n i t i o n on May 17, 1890. T u l l y Boyce, a former W e l l i n g t o n miner and the new pres i d e n t of the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n , g e n e r a l l y confirmed statements made by John Suggett and Joseph C a r t e r who were present on the union committee. Boyce explained how the is s u e of hours was one f a c t o r which l e d t o the demand f o r union r e c o g n i t i o n . However, he added: As a matter of f a c t , from the o f f i c e I h o l d , a great many of these matters came under my n o t i c e 31 " S e l e c t Committee," o p . c i t . . p.282. 32 L o c . c i t . 33 I b i d . , p.283. - 67 -and, as far as I know, the cause of- the s t r i k e i s that the Company refuses to recognize t h e i r workmen as an organized body. The question of hours, i f I understand i t properly, i s e n t i r e l y out of the question....The question of hours was the d i r e c t cause i n other words, hastened the c o n f l i c t ; but that, as an outsider, I didn't think there would be any trouble about, for i t was a matter about which there was very l i t t l e at stake. As to the necessity of the men having an organization, I must come back to my own personal experience—I worked for t h i s company over two years ago....There was a p a r t i a l organ-i z a t i o n existing here then and, through the e f f o r t s of that organization some of the griev-ances which existed amongst the men were removed. Another cause of the demand for union recognition was that the miners deeply resented the company "docking" the men for the amount of shale or d i r t which appeared i n their boxes at the t i p p l e . Under the "court-house" system of deducting for d i r t , miners were not only fi n e d but also were dismissed. John Anderson gave the Select Committee an int e r e s t i n g and revealing testimony on t h i s question: I wish to state what I think was the cause of the Wellington s t r i k e . At the time that the explosion was i n No.5 shaft the company agreed with the men to do away with r i d d l e s , and to do away.with the slack out of the mine, for i t was supposed to have been the cause of the explosion i n No.5. D i r e c t l y a f t e r that the mines commenced to get f i l l e d up with men, and they commenced docking pretty h a r d — docking cars for^idck coal and d i r t mixed. (Mr. Bodxtfell asked "When was this?") Before the s t r i k e ; between the accident and the s t r i k e . Well, i t went pretty hard. I was not docked very often but I was sometimes, along with the balance of them; and d i f f e r e n t ones were discharged for i t , and some of them were reinstated, but I was t o l d plump and p l a i n that the f i r s t time I was docked again they would make an example of me. It was not the boss 34 "Select Committee," op,.cjlt. p. 242. - 68 -of the s h a f t , i t was the a s s i s t a n t superintend-ent, and he s a i d to me that i t was d i r t that I was docked f o r , and I s a i d " I w i l l take you t o the top man and i f he says i t i s d i r t I w i l l give you t h a t day's work." He wouldn't do i t . He backed out. I was hot enough to q u i t , but I wasn't i n a p o s i t i o n to do so. I s a i d " I am s o r r y to see that times have a l t e r e d from what they were a very short time ago," and I picked up a l o t of s l a c k c o a l , the same as what caused the e x p l o s i o n i n No. 5..«.The underboss was standing there and never questioned me at a l l . . . . I went round and got work at No.6 . . . .And I s a i d what i s f o r c o a l , and he s a i d 75 cents. I s a i d , "You used t o pay 90 cents." W e l l , he s a i d they might do i t i n No. 3 , but he wouldn't do i t i n No.6. W e l l , I sat down and t r i e d i t u n t i l dinner time, and found I c o u l d not make wages at i t , and so I went and asked the boss f o r pushing. (Question.-What, i n your o p i n i o n , caused the s t r i k e ? ) A. A man coming i n t o your place and t e l l i n g you t h i s and t h a t , and d i r e c t -i n g you how t o f i x the p l a c e . The way those men were t r y i n g to use me I had to get i n t o an organ-i z a t i o n to support myself, so that I would have a body of men to back me up i n my own occupation. (Question.-How d i d you expect i t to help you?) I gave him the reasons. I f there had been an a s s o c i a t i o n here when he t o l d me I would be d i s -charged i f I was docked again, I would have reported i t to my a s s o c i a t i o n , and they would have taken the matter up and supported me, and i f I was discharged I would not have to leave the camp.35 The s i g n i f i c a n c e of the p i t committee as explained by John Anderson and other miners was that the committee functioned X when there was a need f o r i t and d i d not "run the mines." The p i t committee was e l e c t e d by the union. Asked f o r a d e f i n i t i o n of the committee, John Anderson s t a t e d : I thought that i f I had grievances and couldn't s e t t l e them that a p i t committee would be more 3 5 " S e l e c t Committee," op_.cjJs. p.2 6 2 . - 69 -i n t e l l i g e n t than what I was, as they are gener-a l l y s e l e c t e d from among very i n t e l l i g e n t men, and t h a t they would look i n t o a l l the d e f i c i e n c i e s ( i n the c o a l ) , and i f any question d i d a r i s e they could a r b i t r a t e f o r me.3° Much of the S e l e c t Committee's d i s c u s s i o n and question-i n g revolved around t h i s u n r e a l i z e d demand of the miners f o r a committee which would a r b i t r a t e disputes underground. Robert J a r v i e s and David Jones from Wales, John Greenwell and Charles McGarrigle from Northumberland, and Joseph Carter from England each t o l d the S e l e c t Committee that the p i t committee was i n e f f e c t the basis of unionism i n the 37 mines. The p o l i c y of the company appeared as r e a c t i o n a r y t o the Old Country miners. Q. How long have you been working i n the mines? A. T h i r t y y e a r s . Q. Where d i d you commence? A. In England. Q. Belong t o any o r g a n i z a t i o n i n England? A. Always. Q. Were those o r g a n i z a t i o n s g e n e r a l l y recognized by the employers? A. Always; I have never known one but was. In f a c t , I have known places where the master would have the men organized, because they s a i d they got on w i t h the men b e t t e r as an organized body than wit hout o r g a n i z a t i o n . Q. Did the miners present t h e i r grievances to the masters through committees? A. Yes, always by committees. I f a s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l had a grievance w i t h a p i t boss, and they couldn't s e t t l e i t , he would always c a l l i n the committee, and the committee would always go to the boss and i n v e s t i g a t e the t h i n g , and t r y to bring about a peaceable settlement.38 36 " S e l e c t Committee," o p . c i t . p.258. 37 I b i d . , pp.264-265; p.275; p.273; p.280. Joseph Carter was probably from Northumberland, t o o , but the evidence d i d not say. See p.265. 38 I b i d . , p.285 - 70 -The temperamental d i f f e r e n c e s i n p i t bosses and a s s i s t a n t superintendents made necessary i n the o p i n i o n of the miners <" some form of t h i r d party i n t e r v e n t i o n . The S e l e c t Committee of the L e g i s l a t u r e reported i n 1891 t h a t the cause of the W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e was "the r e f u s a l 39 < of the company to recognize or t r e a t w i t h the union." The Committee's questioning was so i n c i s i v e and p e n e t r a t i n g because the chairman and one of the committee members were former miners. Thomas K e i t h , the chairman, was a B e l f a s t -born miner and Thomas F o r s t e r was from Northumberland, one of the strongest union d i s t r i c t s i n the United Kingdom. Both men had been e l e c t e d t o the B r i t i s h Columbia L e g i s l a t -ure i n I890 w i t h the a c t i v e support of the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n . In the years 1891-1894 Thomas K e i t h introduced four amendments < t o the Coal Mines R e g u l a t i o n Act. The amendments would have Improved s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s i n the mines had they passed * hO but on each occasion the amendments were defeated. The W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e u n i t e d the Nanaimo and W e l l i n g t o n miners i n a s o c i a l p r o t e s t movement again s t the a u t o c r a t i c labour p o l i c i e s of the Dunsmuirs. For the f i r s t time the Nanaimo miners gave t h e i r f u l l support to the W e l l i n g t o n branch of the union and James Dunsmuir saw the hand of outside i n t e r v e n t i o n reaching i n t o the W e l l i n g t o n mines. E.V. Bodwell, Dunsmuir's c o u n s e l l o r , t r i e d to demonstrate that T u l l y Boyce, 39 " S e l e c t Committee," op..cit., p.241. 40 Loosemore, T.R., o p . c i t . , p.56. - 71 -the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n , and Thomas K e i t h and Thomas F o r s t e r of t h e S e l e c t Committee, were a part of a Nanaimo ^ i n s p i r e d p l o t t o impose new c o n d i t i o n s on the W e l l i n g t o n miners and t h e i r company. E.V. Bodwell cross-examined John Suggett and t r i e d t o bring out the i n f l u e n c e of Nanaimo i n the s t r i k e : Q. Who spoke f i r s t i n favour of the 8-hour business? A. I can't j u s t e x a c t l y t e l l who spoke f i r s t . Q. Was i t a Nanaimo man? A.... I can ha r d l y c a l l i t to memory. Q. Wasn't i t the Nanaimo men who were urging the 8-hour business? A. There were some of the Nanaimo men spoke on i t . Chairman: Do you remember at whose request that meeting was c a l l e d ? A. I can say as f a r as W e l l i n g t o n i s concerned that I , myself, was the mover of the motion i n favour of c a l l i n g the meeting on the B l u f f s . Mr. Bodwell: Do you know who the o f f i c e r s of the a s s o c i a t i o n were? A. D i s t r i c t o f f i c e r s . Q. Was Mr. F o r s t e r an o f f i c e r ? A. No, S i r . Q. Is he a member of the union? A. I don't t h i n k so. Q. Was Mr. K e i t h ? A. I b e l i e v e Mr. K e i t h i s a member of the A s s o c i a t i o n . Q. Wasn't he an o f f i c e r ? A. No. S i r . 4 " 1 When E.V. Bodwell cross-examined Joseph Carter h i s l i n e of questioning brought i n c o n c l u s i v e answers: Q. Have you any idea of the number of men that came out from Nanaimo t o th a t meeting? A. 370 were i n the pro c e s s i o n . Q. You counted them*? A. I counted them myself, and there 450 W e l l i n g -ton miners. I went through the ranks and counted a l l the men there. Q. D i d the Nanaimo men attempt to coerce you i n t o doing anything c o n t r a r y t o your w i l l ? A. They couldn't. 4" 2 Although E.V. Bodwell could not prove a conspiracy had taken f-41 " S e l e c t Committee," o p . c i t . . p.282. 42 I b i d . , p. 284. . . - 72 -p l a c e , he c o u l d see that the Nanaimo branch of the union had an i n t e r e s t i n the outcome of the W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e . The Nanaimo miners 1 i n t e r e s t i n o r g a n i z i n g W e l l i n g t o n i n p a r t stemmed from t h e i r concern l e s t poorer c o n d i t i o n s at W e l l i n g t o n endanger the bargaining p o s i t i o n of the Nanaimo branch of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n . Nanaimo miners a s s i s t e d W e l l i n g t o n miners i n a number of ways. They c o n t r i b u t e d s t r i k e funds to help maintain s k i l l e d miners during long months 43 of unemployment. Although no v i o l e n c e was r e p o r t e d , a group of N o r t h f i e l d miners marched out and broke up a meeting of i S e l l i n g t o n mine labourers who threatened t o , and 4 4 d i d , r e t u r n t o work. The Miners* A s s o c i a t i o n even t r i e d 4 5 to i n t e r f e r e w i t h James Dunsmuir's shipping t r a d e . T u l l y Boyce, the president of the union, u n s u c c e s s f u l l y attempted to induce seamen on James Dunsmuir's ships to s t r i k e i n sympathy w i t h the miners. Boyce then t r a v e l l e d t o San F r a n c i s c o and appealed to dock workers not t o handle company c o a l . While i n San F r a n c i s c o he advised p o t e n t i a l s t r i k e breakers t o keep away from the i s l a n d and h i s e f f o r t s i n t h i s regard were rewarded by the f a c t that no s t r i k e breakers entered the c o a l f i e l d from the south. Boyce's e f f o r t s must have improved the morale of the s t r i k i n g miners. He was not able to stop company c o a l from la n d i n g i n San F r a n c i s c o but 43 " S e l e c t Committee," o p . c i t . T p.2 6 5 , p . 3 7 7 . 4 4 I b i d . , p . 3 7 7 -4 5 I b i d . , pp.2 6 0 - 2 6 1 . - 73 -he d i d show th a t the new o r g a n i z a t i o n was determined to win the s t r i k e . James Dunsmuir recognized a f t e r the s t r i k e began on May 17 that the W e l l i n g t o n miners had the a c t i v e support of the Nanaimo branch of the union. With most of the miners on the c o a l f i e l d u n i t e d with h i s miners James Dunsmuir perceived that he could not j u s t l o c k out the s t r i k e r s and win the s t r i k e q u i c k l y as he had done i n January I889. In June 1890 the union p i c k e t e d the mine and broke up a meeting of mine l a b o u r e r s . Although no cases of a c t u a l p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e were r e p o r t e d , James Dunsmuir could have l e g a l l y requested the s h e r i f f to r e s t r a i n miners from p i c k e t i n g the mines and ^ 46 i n t e r f e r i n g with those who continued t o work. But there i s no record of James Dunsmuir e i t h e r requesting the s h e r i f f to r e s t r a i n p i c k e t e r s or requesting the s h e r i f f t o expel * miners from company bunkhouses. Instead James Dunsmuir obtained i n l a t e June a r e q u i s i t i o n from three magistrates who r e s i d e d outside the d i s t r i c t of Nanaimo and w i t h t h i s l e g a l power at h i s d i s p o s a l he asked the Attorney-General < 47 to send a f o r c e of B r i t i s h Columbia m i l i t i a to We l l i n g t o n . The Attorney-General complied w i t h James Dunsmuir's request and s h o r t l y a f t e r August 5 a f o r c e of f i f t y - o n e s o l d i e r s commanded by L t . C o l . Holmes entered W e l l i n g t o n . 46 For an a n a l y s i s of t h i s question of labour law see Anton, F.R., o p . c i t . . pp.51-52. 47 A f u l l account of the i n c i d e n t i s found i n Silverman,P.G., o p . c i t . ? pp.167-172. Silverman used the Reports of the M i n i s t e r of M i l i t i a , PAC and the correspondence assoc-i a t e d w i t h the sending of the m i l i t i a to We l l i n g t o n . - 74 -L t . C o l o n e l Holmes was the Deputy Adjutant-General of the B r i t i s h Columbia M i l i t i a s t a t i o n e d at V i c t o r i a . Upon a r r i v i n g at W e l l i n g t o n , Holmes discovered t h a t no a c t u a l disturbances had occurred, that the c i v i l power of the K \Q> s h e r i f f had not been requested or challenged and t h a t a 48 magistrate was not present t o d i r e c t the m i l i t i a . As Holmes r e c e i v e d no d i r e c t i o n as to what he was supposed to do i n W e l l i n g t o n , he requested permission to evacuate h i s f o r c e ; but as t h i s request was r e f u s e d by the magistrates Holmes l e f t a token f o r c e of f i v e men and returned on or about Sept. 15 to V i c t o r i a . I t must have been apparent to Holmes th a t James Dunsmuir had used the m i l i t i a not t o * r e s t o r e law and order but t o break the s t r i k e . Notwithstand-i n g Holmes' view, i n the o p i n i o n of 73 miners who p e t i t i o n e d the p r o v i n c i a l government i n August, the m i l i t i a served a v a l u a b l e f u n c t i o n at W e l l i n g t o n . The p e t i t i o n e r s implored i the government not to r e c a l l the m i l i t i a which they s a i d p r o t e c t e d them from acts of i n t i m i d a t i o n by s t r i k i n g miners. 7 Holmes may have assumed that men who worked during a s t r i k e placed themselves i n a p o s i t i o n i n which v e r b a l abuse was i n e v i t a b l e . James Dunsmuir's use of the m i l i t i a may have provided 48 Silverman, P.G.., o p . c i t . p.170. 49 "Miners' P e t i t i o n Against Withdrawal of the M i l i t i a , " S.P.. 1890, p.312. I t was opposed by a p e t i t i o n from M.P.P.'s Thomas K e i t h , Thomas F o r s t e r and C.C. Mackenzie i n August I890. See "Correspondence Be Sending M i l i t i a to W e l l i n g -ton," S.P.. 1891, pp.311-312. - 75 -some s e c u r i t y f o r the mine labourers and the few miners who continued to work during the s t r i k e . In any case by the end of August 1890 the loose merger between the miners and the labourers proved t h a t i t co u l d not stand the t e s t of a long s t r i k e . S t r i k e funds were p a i d out to miners on l y . The < choice between g i v i n g funds to miners or labourers may have been obvious to the A s s o c i a t i o n ; i t could not, apparently, to a f f o r d to give/both. According to one l a b o u r e r , the mine labourers had become d i s i l l u s i o n e d w i t h the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n a f t e r i t s i n c e p t i o n i n 1886. John Rooney explained the l a b o u r e r s 1 l a c k of enthusiasm f o r the miners < when he r e - c a l l e d the 1889 s t r i k e at W e l l i n g t o n : I thought i t was nonsense t o help a man to get $2.00 to our $1.00. I f i t had been a general t h i n g , and f o r the men to get a general advance of wages, I would have voted f o r i t . I c o u l d see that there was l o t s of the men that d i d n ' t v want to s t r i k e ; l o t s of them that didn't attend the meetings; and when men don't attend meetings i t i s as much as t o say they don't want t o strike. 5 0 Then he went on to speak of the recent s t r i k e i n I8 9 O : Then f o r s e v e r a l weeks a f t e r that (the May 17th I89O meeting) the mines were i d l e and the s t r i k e went on. We c a l l e d a meeting amongst o u r s e l v e s , that i s those men who were i d l e and were not g e t t i n g support from the union, and there came about 300 or 400 miners from N o r t h f i e l d and outside camps and broke up that meeting. They f wouldn't a l l o w us to have a word to say as to whether we were going to j o i n the union or go back to work.51 50 " S e l e c t Committee," o p . c i t . . p . 3 8 l . 51 I b i d . , p. 382. - 76 -The A s s o c i a t i o n formed at W e l l i n g t o n i n May 1890 had, then, been l i t t l e more than f r i e n d l y a l l i a n c e . The l a c k of u n i t y w i t h i n the A s s o c i a t i o n was not the only cause of i t s f a i l u r e to win r e c o g n i t i o n but i t d i d r e v e a l that the s p i r i t of labour u n i t y among the miners had not gone f a r enough f o r i t to be described as c l a s s u n i t y . ' The e s s e n t i a l l y c o nservative character of the A s s o c i a t i o n i n I89O-I89I was i n marked c o n t r a s t to the r a d i c a l idea of i n d u s t r i a l u n i t y held by the Knights of Labour. The W e l l i n g t o n miners were unable to i n t e r r u p t s e r i o u s l y c o a l production during the s t r i k e f o r one other important reason. In Wellington and Cumberland mines over < one t h i r d of the employees were Chinese and Japanese 53 labourers who worked above and below ground. ^ With t h i s l a r g e group of employees at work during the s t r i k e the white miners were faced w i t h another obstacle i n the way of b r i n g i n g mining operations t o a h a l t . Although a g i t a t i o n by workmen and other members of the white community against continued A s i a t i c immigration was c o n s t a n t l y before the p u b l i c i n these y e a r s , the miners' s t r i k e seems t o have caused even more r e a c t i o n i n I89O and 1891. In 1891, 2788 people, most of whom were miners, signed the l a r g e s t 52 I n the metal mining camps of the f a r west i n the 1890's there was much greater u n i t y between the miners and la b o u r e r s . The d i s t i n c t i o n between s k i l l e d miner and u n s k i l l e d labourer broke down when power machinery was introduced i n t o metal mining i n the 1890's. See Paul F. Brissenden, op . c i t . . p.lH-0; W i l l i a m Haywood, op. c i t . . p.63. 53 The a c t u a l numbers were 1250 whites and 482 Chinese and Japanese. "Report of the M i n i s t e r of Mines/" l891,p.277 - 77 -54 p e t i t i o n ever to be sent to the p r o v i n c i a l government. The s i g n a t o r s to the^petition demanded the e x c l u s i o n of Chinese and Japanese from the c o a l mines of Vancouver I s l a n d ; however, l e g i s l a t i o n on the question of A s i a t i c employment i n the mines d i d not come f o r t h from the p r o v i n c i a l assembly 55 u n t i l 1 898. The W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e was a t u r n i n g p o i n t i n the r i s e of unionism on the c o a l f i e l d . The s t r u g g l e between * James Dunsmuir and the Miners' /Association decided the f a t e of unionism at the Dunsmuir mines f o r the next ten y e a r s . Had James Dunsmuir recognized the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n I89O, W e l l i n g t o n miners would have regained some of the i n f l u e n c e on the development of union o r g a n i z a t i o n that they had p r i o r t o 1 8 8 4 . Instead the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n lodge i n Nanaimo became the centre on the c o a l f i e l d from which ^ emanated most of the ideas and men who shaped the develop-56 ment of unionism. Although Nanaimo miners d i d not s t r i k e i n I89O, by 1891 superintendent S.M. Hobins at Nanaimo saw that i t was i n h i s i n t e r e s t to recognize the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n . 54 " P e t i t i o n Regarding Chinese and Japanese i n Coal Mines," S.P. 1 8 9 2 , pp.464-470. 55 B.C. L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, J o u r n a l s . 1898, B i l l #43. John Bryden, the v i c e - p r e s i d e n t of R.Dunsmuir and Sons t e s t e d the v a l i d i t y of the law i n 1898 and a B.C. court declared the law l i l t r a v i r e s the l e g i s l a t u r e . See W e l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e . May 2, I898, p.3 . 56 James Young and T u l l y Boyce were notable examples of leaders who had l e f t W e l l i n g t o n f o r Nanaimo a f t e r being dismissed f o r union a c t i v i t y . 57 Robins explained h i s labour p o l i c y i n Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p. 295. 57 - 78 -In J u l y 1891 he signed with the A s s o c i a t i o n the f i r s t w r i t t e n agreement on the c o a l f i e l d . The company agreed not to d i s c r i m i n a t e against the union and the miners promised never to c a l l a s t r i k e u n t i l a f t e r a t h i r t y day n o t i c e p e r i o d y had expired and then only a f t e r a l l means had been exhausted 58 i n an e f f o r t to avert a s t r i k e . I r o n i c a l l y , then, the Nanaimo miners were the ones who b e n e f i t t e d from the c l a s h ^ over union r e c o g n i t i o n a t W e l l i n g t o n . A f t e r the s t r i k e the W e l l i n g t o n miners had to begin a l l over again the s t r u g g l e to achieve union wages and working c o n d i t i o n s i n the mines. 58 See Appendix p.213/'Agreement of Vancouver Coal With I t s Employees," J u l y 24, 1891. CHAPTER II I The Miner^and Mine Labourers* Protective Association and the Dunsmuir Mines: 1892-1901 Despite the united e f f o r t s of the Wellington and Nanaimo miners i n the 1890-1891 s t r i k e , the miners were unable to force James Dunsmuir to recognize the Miners' Association. The close association of the miners i n the two communities of Nanaimo and Wellington did not end with the f a i l u r e of the s t r i k e . In the decade a f t e r 1891 renewed attempts were made to revive the regional organization. The year-long s t r i k e by the Association caused James Dunsmuir and his company to see unions i n a new l i g h t . The s t r i k e l e d to the formation of a garrison outlook on the / part of James Dunsmuir, some of his managers and many of the c i t i z e n s of Cumberland and Wellington. Neither Hobert Dunsmuir nor James, his son, ever intimated that miners might have legitimate reasons for forming unions. In 1891 James Dunsmuir argued before the Select Committee of the l e g i s l a t u r e that his miners were r e a l l y content with t h e i r wages and working conditions; the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i n the mines came from "agitators" who conspired with the Nanaimo miners to 1 organize Wellington. In Dunsmuir's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n his miners 1 "Select Committee to Investigate the Wellington S t r i k e , " o p . c i t . , pp.261, 282, 284. - 79 -- 80 -d i d not r e a l l y want to organize unions; i n s t e a d he blamed union leaders and a g i t a t o r s such as T u l l y Boyce f o r t r y i n g to f o r c e a union on h i s miners. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of why unions were organized i n the Dunsmuir mines was expressed again and again i n the next decade; i t reached i t s f u l l e s t expression i n the Beport of the Royal Commission which 2 i n v e s t i g a t e d the s t r i k e s i n the Dunsmuir mines i n 1903. Although short week-long s t r i k e s occurred at W e l l i n g t o n i n 1893 and 1894 over the k i n d of grievances t h a t caused e a r l i e r s t r i k e s , ^ the Nanaimo Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n d i d not apparently send an organizer t o the Dunsmuir mines u n t i l 1895. In t h a t year Ralph Smith, a union se c r e t a r y from the A s s o c i a t i o n , v i s i t e d Cumberland. Smith was an ambitious and a r t i c u l a t e former Northumberland miner vrho became union s e c r e t a r y i n the A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h i n two years k of h i s a r r i v a l i n Nanaimo i n 1893. With, h i s background of trade union t r a i n i n g and h i s o r a t o r i c a l s k i l l s , Smith rose to a p o s i t i o n of l e a d e r s h i p i n the Nanaimo community In the coming y e a r s . L i k e James Young and T u l l y Boyce, Smith b e l i e v e d that unions were necessary i n the mines i f mining * r e g u l a t i o n s governing s a f e t y and i n s p e c t i o n r u l e s were going 2 Report, o p . c i t . t p.76. E.V.Bodwell represented James Dunsmuir before both the 1891 and 1903 Commissions. I n both cases he t r i e d t o prove that a conspiracy had occurred i n which outside a g i t a t o r s had i n t i m i d a t e d Dunsmuir's miners and f o r c e d them i n t o unions. 3 " O r i g i n s of Labour Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia," o p . c i t . 4 Ralph Smith became one of the most prominent labour p o l i t i c -i ans i n the h i s t o r y of the c o a l f i e l d . On h i s p o l i t i c a l career see Loosemore^T.R.,op.cit. Tpp.64-192,passim. For a long d i s -c u s s i o n by Ralph Smith on B r i t i s h mining p r a c t i c e s and the value of trade unions i n the mines se e B . C . , L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, Evidence of the Commission to I n q u i r e Into Coal Mine Exj3lpslon.s i n B r i t i s h , Columbia,, 1903,Box #4,pp. 1066-1073. - 81 -to be implemented. Smith a l s o shared the view w i t h Young and Boyce that disputes over working c o n d i t i o n s and wages could be u s u a l l y s e t t l e d peaceably i f employers d e a l t f a i r l y w i t h unions. The l i b e r a l trade unionism of Ralph Smith and the A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1895 was about t o c l a s h w i t h the conserva-t i v e management of James Dunsmuir. Ralph Smith concentrated h i s e f f o r t s on or g a n i z i n g Cumberland because Chinese and Japanese labourers composed * i n some years as much as 50 per cent of the work f o r c e . The Cumberland miners had l o s t the 1889 s t r i k e over Chinese e x c l u s i o n and had not p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the s t r i k e of I89O-I891. The company dismissed o f f i c e r s of the union i n February I89O w i t h i n a day a f t e r they had he l d t h e i r f i r s t meeting. T u l l y Boyce d i d not reach Cumberland because he was refu s e d passage on the company t r a i n . I n 1895 the Cumberland miners attempted once again to organize a branch of the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n . Representatives of the miners f i r s t asked James Dunsmuir i f he would approve of the miners forming a branch union.^ A f t e r being r e f u s e d permission, they acted on t h e i r own i n i t i a t i v e and i n v i t e d Ralph Smith t o swear i n the o f f i c e r s . W i l l i a m Anthony became s e c r e t a r y of the new union. He r e l a t e d the events t h a t occurred once the union had been formed. 5 Minutes of Evidence, op.cit.« 1903, p.391. Orim Barber was i n Cumberland at the time T u l l y Boyce made h i s unsuccessful attempt. 6 Cumberland News, March 18, I899, p.6. - 82 -We organized a union here seven years ago. I was s e l e c t e d secretary of the union, and the f i r s t n o t i c e - I was I n s t r u c t e d to put up a n o t i c e t o c a l l a s p e c i a l meeting to appoint committees f o r t h i s union. This n o t i c e c a l l e d f o r a meeting Saturday n i g h t . On the f o l l o w i n g Monday, when I was at my work, the boss came and t o l d me to take out my t o o l s . I asked him what was wrong. He s a i d he d i d not know....I went to the o f f i c e and saw Mr. L i t t l e and t o l d him that the boss had t o l d me to take out my t o o l s , and asked him what was the t r o u b l e . Mr. L i t t l e s a i d he understood I had j o i n e d the union. W e l l , he s a i d , so long as you have j o i n e d the union you can't get any employment ^ w i t h t h i s company.... .So I had t o go out of the camp and leave my f a m i l y here. I could get no work anywhere, i tried~"Nanaimo. I had t o leave t h i s s ide to go t o the American side against my w i l l . I happened to get work on the other s i d e , and as soon as they learned I was v i c t i m i z e d under t h i s company they f o r c e d me out of t h a t . They put ^ me where I made $ 1 . 0 0 , where I was making $3.75 previous to t h i s t r o u b l e . " The attempt t o e s t a b l i s h a union f a i l e d i n 1895 but no s t r i k e occurred over the d i s m i s s a l s . James Dunsmuir blamed Ralph Smith and the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n f o r s t i r r i n g up t r o u b l e i n h i s mines.^ For two years a f t e r the 1895 m i s s i o n of Ralph Smith to Cumberland no attempts were made to organize unions i n the Dunsmuir mines. An economic r e c e s s i o n occurred i n the c o a l i n d u s t r y and employment on the f i e l d d e c l i n e d by h a l f 9 i n the years between 1891 and 1896. Miners must have been 7 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p. k 3 k . 8 Cumberland News, o p . c i t . . p.6. 9 "Report of the M i n i s t e r of Mines." 1 8 9 1 , 1 8 9 6 . 3232 men were employed i n I 8 9 I 5 1770 i n I 8 9 6 . - 83 -very r e l u c t a n t t o r i s k t h e i r jobs attempting to form unions. But i n 1898 a f t e r r e p o r t s reached James Dunsmuir from W e l l i n g t o n t h a t union agents from Nanaimo had t a l k e d w i t h h i s miners, Dunsmuir took the i n i t i a t i v e a gainst the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n . R a l p h Smith's name was not mentioned e x p l i c i t l y i n p u b lished r e p o r t s of the developing i n c i d e n t but i t i s l i k e l y that Smith v i s i t e d W e l l i n g t o n . I n January I898, without p r i o r n o t i c e or c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h the miners, James x Dunsmuir gave the Well i n g t o n miners a 10 per cent increase i n the p r i c e of c o a l dug from $.75 a ton to $.82% a ton. The mine labourers d i d not r e c e i v e the i n c r e a s e . Neither K 10 d i d miners at the Al e x a n d r i a mines at South W e l l i n g t o n . * The We l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e advised i n an e d i t o r i a l on February h that the miners should not question the company's motives f o r g i v i n g the advance and then suggested four p o s s i b l e 11 motives. The most important reason f o r the advance, s a i d the E n t e r p r i s e , was that i t was intended as n a blow" t o the Miners' /Association. James Dunsmuir assumed the miners would not form a branch union i f the company was w i l l i n g to ^  increase t h e i r wages. Secondly, the advance was an attempt to hold "good men" who were beginning to leave f o r the / Klondike gold rush. T h i r d l y , as John Bryden, the v i c e - p r e s i d e n t 10 Davis, I s o b e l , "An Economic H i s t o r y of Ladysmith," o p . c i t . pp.3-10. 11 W e l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e , February 4, I898, p.6. - 84 -of R. Dunsmuir and Sons, was about to seek the North Nanaimo seat i n the forthcoming p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n i n J u l y , the E n t e r p r i s e observed that there might be p o l i t i c a l reasons f o r the advance. The f i n a l reason o f f e r e d by the E n t e r p r i s e was that the new p e r i o d of growth which the company was X experiencing had merited the miners a r a i s e . The 10 per cent r a i s e was given o b v i o u s l y f o r t a c t i c a l reasons. On June 1, 1898, again without any n o t i c e , the r a i s e was withdrawn. On June 16 a mass meeting of 800 miners met t o consider the withdrawal of the 10 per cent 12 r a i s e the company had given i n January. The E n t e r p r i s e had been c o r r e c t i n p r e d i c t i n g t h a t t he miners would not form a branch union a f t e r the r a i s e was given. At the June 1§> meeting the miners voted t o demand the r e s t o r a t i o n of t h e i r 10 per cent increase and r e s o l v e d to form a branch of *" the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n . The r e p o r t of the meeting d i d not make c l e a r whether the miners intended to form a branch union only i f they d i d not r e c e i v e back the r a i s e . A f u r t h e r demand i n v o l v e d the miners 1 accident fund to which the miners wanted 25 per cent of the $100.00 a year check-off 12. E n t e r p r i s e . June 17, I898. p . l -- 85 -a p p l i e d . David Moffat, who was chairman of the meeting, reported that John Bryden t o l d h i s committee t h a t i f the miners r e c e i v e d the 10 percent increase back, then the company would have to give the mine.-.'labourers (pushers and ^ d r i v e r s ) at W e l l i n g t o n the 25 per cent increase which they had demanded from the company. The r e p o r t of the meeting d i d not i n d i c a t e that the reason f o r the withdrawal of miners' increase might have been the a g i t a t i o n of the l a b o u r e r s . But s i n c e the labourers at A l e x a n d r i a mines had st r u c k s i n c e January f o r a 25 per cent r a i s e over the $2.00 per day amount, i t was l i k e l y the company had decided to f i g h t wage increa s e s throughout the mines by s a c r i f i c i n g ^ the miners. David Moffat's r e p o r t l e d to a new r e s o l u t i o n . The miners voted to bring the labourers i n t o t h e i r committee f o r n e g o t i a t i n g purposes. In forming a temporary a l l i a n c e w i t h them the miners p a c i f i e d the mine labourers who were i r a t e over the r a i s e given to the miners. The meeting adjourned and a new committee was sent to see the company. The W e l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e , b e l i e v i n g a s t r i k e to be imminent, warned the miners: The movement on f o o t among the mining community of Wellington i s probably the most important 13 David Moffat was o r i g i n a l l y from Scotland and was a l s o a l a y preacher i n the Methodist Church. The E n t e r p r i s e , February 11, l898,p .2, l i n k e d David Moffat and Ralph Smith as Methodist l a y churchmen. For f u r t h e r references to David Moffat see Commission on Coal Mines Explosions i n  B r i t i s h Columbia, o p . c i t . , p.liMff. For f u r t h e r references on the l i n k between Methodism and Unionism on the c o a l f i e l d see Rev.L.W. H a l l i n Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , 1903, pp.450-461. Nanaimo Herald. 1900-1903, passim, (church n o t i c e s ) . - 86 -that has a r i s e n since the s t r i k e of e i g h t years ago. The older hands should e x e r c i s e a r e s t r a i n -i n g i n f l u e n c e oft the headstrong impetuosity of, the younger members of the mining f r a t e r n i t y . 1 4 " The committee which met James Dunsmuir and John Bryden on June 25 d i d not represent a union committee f o r Dunsmuir had never recognized a union committee i n h i s mines. At the meeting the miners achieved p r a c t i c a l l y none of t h e i r 15 demands and the labourers were e q u a l l y thwarted. The miners d i d not form a branch of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n p r o t e s t against the company's a r b i t r a r y withdrawal of the wage i n c r e a s e . Neither d i d the labourers s t r i k e over the i s s u e . Undoubtedly the older hands l e d by David Moffat would not l e t t h e i r homes and f a m i l i e s s u f f e r w h i l e they * fought a l o s i n g b a t t l e over a j u s t cause. The one concession given by the company caused only a change i n r e c o r d keeping. The company increased the p r o p o r t i o n of the check-off which entered the miners' accident fund. Considering the accident r e c o r d of the mines, t h i s was not an unusual change. Some of the resentment over the f a i l u r e to r e g a i n the wage inc r e a s e In June may have been expressed a t the b a l l o t box i n J u l y i n the p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n . John Bryden was favoured by the E n t e r p r i s e as the "grand o l d man" of 16 the mines. His nomination as M.P.P. f o r Nanaimo no r t h Ik E n t e r p r i s e . June 17, I898, p.6. 15 L o c . c i t . 16 I b i d . , J u l y 8, p . l . - 87 -was supported by the a s s i s t a n t - s u p e r i n t e n d e n t , James Sharp, foremen Thomas Haggart and Dave Wilson, and John Bryden's son Andrew, who was superintendent of the W e l l i n g t o n mines. Notices of Bryden's meetings l e f t no doubt t h a t a vote f o r 17 the v i c e - p r e s i d e n t was a vote f o r company p o l i c y . Bryden's opponent i n the campaign was Jos<pet} H e l l i e r , a farmer who had never p r e v i o u s l y stood f o r a p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n i n the d i s t r i c t . Joseph H e l l i e r t o l d one meeting t h a t he was f i g h t i n g the cause of labour i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the "powerful c o r p o r a t i o n which John Bryden represented," and described himself as a 18 common man "whom the people of We l l i n g t o n had asked t o run." In the e l e c t i o n Joseph H e l l i e r r e c e i v e d around h a l f the 19 v o t e s . As the miners r e c e i v e d the wage r e d u c t i o n i n June, and were angry a t the way the company deceived them, they probably voted h e a v i l y f o r Joseph H e l l i e r i n the J u l y e l e c t i o n . < James Dunsmuir's "blow" aimed at the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n January 1898 caused S.M. Robins and the union considerable d i f f i c u l t y . Vancouver Coal depended on the San Franc i s c o 20 market f o r 75 per cent of i t s business. The r e c e s s i o n i n 17 E n t e r p r i s e . J u l y 1-8, passim. 18 There i s no mention of t h i s e l e c t i o n i n Loosemore,T.R., "B.C. Labor and P o l i t i c a l A c t i o n , " and th e r e f o r e i t i s mentioned here i n connection w i t h the r e d u c t i o n i n June, E n t e r p r i s e , J u l y 1, p.2. 19 I b i d . , J u l y 15, p . l . 20 "Report of the Royal Commission On Chinese and Japanese Immigration," S e s s i o n a l Papers. 1902, No.54a, p.89. W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s exported 58% of i t s c o a l by 1901. - 88 -the years 1892-1896 f o r c e d the company to seek an agreed ^ wage decrease w i t h the union. Miners at Nanaimo s u f f e r e d a p r i c e per ton r e d u c t i o n of over 20 per cent i n 1892 from $.82-§- to $.61. P a r t of the r e d u c t i o n was returned to the 21 miners i n 1893 and the p r i c e remained at $.68 per ton. When James Dunsmuir gave the unexpected wage in c r e a s e i n January, which brought the W e l l i n g t o n miners up t o $.82% < per t o r n , the Nanaimo miners were dismayed. On February 11 they met w i t h S.M. Robins and asked f o r a 10 per cent increase "as had occurred at Wellington." S.M. Robins and the union executive reached a temporary agreement i n which the wage < demand was postponed u n t i l business improved. Perhaps the executive convinced the union t h a t the r a i s e at W e l l i n g t o n was a manoeuvre designed to cause d i s r u p t i o n at the Nanaimo mines; i h any case on February 25 the W e l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e r e p o r t e d that the Miners'3Association had decided "to stand 22 by t h e i r employer i n t h i s or any other time of t r i a l . " The E n t e r p r i s e saw i n the announcement an act of defiance aga i n s t R. Dunsmuir and Sons. For the f i r s t time James Dunsmuir had placed the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n at Nanaimo on <• the defensive by temporarily improving the wage sca l e a t 21 For the d e t a i l s of the wage changes see Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p.298,p.368. The E n t e r p r i s e T February 4. 1898, p.6 gave a u s e f u l review of some wage changes si n c e the r e d u c t i o n from $ .8l to $.75 i n 1880 at Wellington. 22 I b i d . . February 25> p.6. Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p.296. For the view t h a t Ralph Smith and a c l i q u e of h i s supporters pressured the union t o support S.M. Robins see Loosemore, T.R.,op.cit., p.165 and p.176. - 89 -W e l l i n g t o n s i g n i f i c a n t l y above Nanaimo. In an atmosphere of o f f i c i a l s u s p i c i o n and h o s t i l i t y to h i s aims and motives, Ealph Smith v i s i t e d Cumberland again i n March 1899. Since h i s f i r s t attempt to organize a branch of the Miners 1 A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1895, he had promised on a number of occasions t o work f o r the e x c l u s i o n of Chinese from the mines of Cumberland. I n 1898 he was e l e c t e d labour r e p r e s e n t a t i v e f o r South Nanaimo. His e l e c t i o n that year c o i n c i d e d w i t h the passage of an amendment to the Coal Mines Regulations Act which r e q u i r e d miners t o be competent i n A the mines and which s p e c i f i c a l l y excluded Chinese and Japan-23 ese from underground operations. In March 1899 Ralph Smith held conversations w i t h John Combs, the Cumberland 2k miners' check-weighman. Combs had w r i t t e n the new Inspector of Mines, Thomas Morgan, on a question of s a f e t y c o n d i t i o n s at Cumberland and Ralph Smith surmised t h a t Combs had complained of the employment of Chinese underground. Smith had not a c t u a l l y seen the contents of the l e t t e r . A f t e r d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h John Combs, and w i t h c e r t a i n unnamed miners who wanted to form a union at Cumberland, Ralph Smith learn e d two t h i n g s . F i r s t , John Combs was not a union leader or a union spokesman as h i s f u n c t i o n as check-weighman i m p l i e d ; secondly, as Combs refused t o d i s c l o s e the contents 23 B.C., L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, S t a t u t e s , Coal Mines Regula-t i o n s A c t , Rule 3 4 ,Section 82,Ch.138,1898. The amendment was passed p r a c t i c a l l y i n t a c t i n the f o l l o w i n g years. Passed i n the J a n u a r y - A p r i l S e s s i o n , the amendment was di s a l l o w e d by the f e d e r a l government u s u a l l y by June. 2h Cumberland News, March 18, I899, p.6. - 90 -of the l e t t e r to Smith, Combs was e i t h e r a f r a i d of l o s i n g h i s job or was stubborn i n defense of h i s p o s i t i o n . Ralph Smith then p u b l i c l y charged that Combs had revealed the contents of the l e t t e r t o James Dunsmuir, who had supposedly given Combs' observations c a r e f u l censoring. There was no d e n i a l or c o n f i r m a t i o n of t h i s charge from the president of the company. Combs denied the charge and the Cumberland miners voted t o accept h i s e x p l a n a t i o n that he had not revealed the contents of the l e t t e r to James Dunsmuir. The circumstances i n which the l e t t e r was w r i t t e n and the f a c t that John Combs resigned h i s p o s i t i o n as check-weighman the f o l l o w i n g month seems t o suggest that the l e t t e r had i n c l u d e d mention of the dangers i n v o l v e d i n the continued use of Chinese and Japanese workmen i n the mines. Besides t r y i n g to gather evidence that R. Dunsmuir and Sons had v i o l a t e d the new mine r e g u l a t i o n , Ralph Smith was * on the look out f o r grievances which would have given him and * the u n i o n i s t s among Cumberland miners a reason f o r o r g a n i z i n g . The Cumberland News st a t e d that "some miners" had considered the formation of a branch of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n but the News never made c l e a r how many were i n v o l v e d . On A p r i l 22 an unsigned l e t t e r appeared i n the Nanaimo Islander by "A. 25 Miner." The miner'; s a i d that there was a "demand" f o r a union at Cumberland and i m p l i e d that the News made t h e charge i n the l e t t e r c r e d i b l e ; the company's p r a c t i c e of d i s m i s s i n g 25 Cumberland News. A p r i l 2k, 1899, p . 3 . - 91 -union o f f i c e r s i n the past was a l o g i c a l reason f o r a miner x to d i s g u i s e h i s i d e n t i t y . But a union was not formed by Ralph Smith and he never again attempted to organize one i n Cumberland. The Cumberland News i n t e r p r e t e d Ralph Smith's attempt to discover v i o l a t i o n s of the Coal Mines Act i n Cumberland as part of the Vancouver Coal Company's e f f o r t s to i n f l u e n c e x l e g i s l a t o r s to f o r c e R. Dunsmuir and Sons to remove Chinese and Japanese from i t s mines. Both the News and the E n t e r p r i s e c h a r a c t e r i z e d Ralph Smith as the " t o o l " of S.M. Robins, who supported Smith i n r e t u r n f o r a c t i o n on the company's behalf i n the l e g i s l a t u r e . The News argued t h a t S.M. Robins and the executive of the union were i n f a c t i n v o l v e d i n a p l a n t o organize the Dunsmuir mines. The economics of the a l l e g e d p l a n made a sound argument: The union at Nanaimo had an agreement w i t h the New Vancouver Coal Company, i n regard to wages; i f the Union C o l l i e r y Company co u l d get cheaper labour, they could a f f o r d t o u n d e r s e l l the New Vancouver Coal Company, consequently i n j u r i n g 2 A that company, and i n d i r e c t l y , t h e i r employees. There was no question t h a t the i n t e r e s t s of the Nanaimo company and the union c o i n c i d e d on the i s s u e of the removal of low p a i d A s i a t i c labour from the mines of R. Dunsmuir and Sons• But as long as James Dunsmuir was not paying h i s miners s i g n i f i c a n t l y more than was pa i d the miners of h i s competitor 26 Cumberland News, March 18, p.6. - 92 -there was no reason why the employees of R. Dunsmuir and Sons should not a l s o want to see A s i a t i c s removed from the mines. James Dunsmuir p a i d h i s miners j u s t a f r a c t i o n of a cent more per ton than h i s competitor d i d but the miners at Nanaimo - y and W e l l i n g t o n - d i d not have to worry about explosions caused by inexperienced A s i a t i c workmen. Judging from many s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l r e p o r t s and n o t i c e s i n the News, i t appears that two f a c t i o n s * had formed among the miners i n Cumberland. A m i n o r i t y of miners who had entered the camp before or soon a f t e r the I889 s t r i k e stood aside when more r a d i c a l miners had t r i e d to form unions i n I89O, 1895 and 1899. The conser v a t i v e miners formed non-union lodges and a s s o c i a t i o n s i n Cumberland. Theyowere s a t i s f i e d not to have a union i f they could have a 27 check-weighman. They had formed a mutual b e n e f i t s o c i e t y f o r which the company checked o f f a p o r t i o n of t h e i r earnings. B e n e f i t funds administered by the miners a l s o e x i s t e d i n the other camps. The miners used the funds to pay f o r doctors' f e e s , h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n costs and payments i n case of disablement. The miners depended on the companies t o provide the book-27 Cumberland News. September I5,l899,p .6; October 10,1900,p.2; January 16, 1901. The names of Fred Parks, Thomas R i p l e y , R i c h a r d C o l l i s h a w , James Reid and Thomas Bickes were prom- . in e n t i n the executive of l o c a l lodges and boards from 1899 to 1903 but none of these men were mentioned i n connection w i t h union o r g a n i z a t i o n . R i c h a r d C o l l i s h a w and Thomas B i c k l e opposed the formation of a branch of the Western F e d e r a t i o n of Miners i n May 1903 but the m a j o r i t y supported the new o r g a n i z a t i o n . See Minutes of Evidence op.cit..1903 pp.463-464. 28 W e l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e , J u l y 24,l899>p.6: The Nanaimo fund i s o u t l i n e d i n Labour Gazette.vol.I.1901.p . 4 8 3: Ladysmith Ledger r December 31. 1902. p.2. keeping s e r v i c e and to t h i s extent they were indebted t o the companies. U n l i k e Nanaimo where union miners and other union tradesmen took r e s p o n s i b l e p o s i t i o n s i n the l o c a l <• 29 government of the community, not one miner a t Cumberland i n v o l v e d i n union a g i t a t i o n was l i s t e d as a member of the town c o u n c i l or an executive member of the f r a t e r n a l lodges. The few miners who t r i e d to organize unions a t Cumberland were recent a r r i v a l s from the United Kingdom who c o u l d not understand 30 why a mining camp should be a non-union one. Thus Cumberland became a company dominated camp; a conservative employer, h i s manager and foremen, the town merchants and t h e i r newspaper, e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h the cooperation of the most s e t t l e d and conservative miners, a measure of labour peace. The attempt to organize Cumberland, where A s i a t i c s were employed underground, had f a i l e d . However, the amendment 29 Loosemore, T.R..op.cit.,pp,h7-52; 6 8 - 7 2 ; 8 8 - 9 2 . Smith,B.R.D. o p . c i t . , Chapter 6, "The Development of S o c i a l Consciousness C o i n c i d e n t a l w i t h urban development Nanaimo changed from being p o l i t i c a l l y c onservative i n the l 8 8 0's to L i b e r a l -Labour i n the l 8 9 0's to L a b o u r - S o c i a l i s t i n the e a r l y 1900's The r u r a l areas throughout t h i s p e r i o d remained p o l i t i c a l l y , i n the main, supporters of the Dunsmuirs or one of the i n d i v i d u a l s who supported the Dunsmuirs. This development i n c i v i c l i f e was i n f l u e n c e d i n Nanaimo by the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n , the Nanaimo Reform Club and r e c e i v e d frequent s t i m u l a t i o n by the new immigrants from the United Kingdom. 3 0 Minutes of Evidence, op .cit». 1 9 0 3 , pp. 442 - 4 ^ 3 ; ^ 3 0 , ^ 3 1 . 4 3 2 ; Cumberland News, June 2 2 , 1 9 0 3 ,p.8 ,discusses two generations of the Richardson f a m i l y i n Cumberland i n which both f a t h e r and son were dismissed f o r union a c t i v i t y i n I89O and 1 9 0 3 . 31 Reverend L.W.Hall, Minutes of Evidence, p.4 5 3 . R e v . H a l l was a missionary t o the Chinese i n Cumberland f o r over nine years. - 9k -to the Coal Mines A c t , which excluded A s i a t i c s from under- <-ground work, was on the s t a t u t e books. In 1898 John Bryden t e s t e d the c o n s i t u t i o n a l v a l i d i t y of the amendment and i t was declared i n t r a v i r e s the l e g i s l a t u r e . I t remained f o r the Inspector of Mines to enforce the new r u l e . When A r c h i b a l d Dick, the mines i n s p e c t o r , d i d not l a y a charge against H. Dunsmuir and Sons, Ralph Smith accused Dick of 32 showing f a v o u r i t i s m . Soon a f t e r Smith made h i s charge, the government dismissed the mines i n s p e c t o r from his post. The News and the E n t e r p r i s e saw the hand of S.M. Robins i n the d i s m i s s a l of the i n s p e c t o r . James Dunsmuir h i r e d A r c h i b a l d Dick w i t h i n a year of h i s d i s m i s s a l and l e t the 33 c r i t i c s say what they l i k e d . A f t e r the new i n s p e c t o r l a i d charges, Union C o l l i e r i e s L t d . at Cumberland was f i n e d $ 2 5 . 0 0 and $ 5 0 . 0 0 i n separate cases f o r employing A s i a t i c s i n 34 underground operations. But the i n s p e c t o r ' s thoroughness i n implementing the Act was r e g u l a r l y f r u s t r a t e d . The f e d e r a l government d i s a l l o w e d the amendment year a f t e r year > a f t e r the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e re-enacted i t . The f e d e r a l government b e l i e v e d t h a t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n against A s i a t i c x people i n Canada would harm both I m p e r i a l and Canadian trade 3 5 w i t h China and Japan. 32 W e l l i n g t o n E n t e r p r i s e , October 2 8 , 1 8 9 8 , p.6 33 Cumberland News, December 7, 1899> P«2. 3 4 I b i d . . March 2 1 , 1 8 9 9 , p.2 . 3 5 "Report of the R o y a l Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration," S.P.. No.54a, 1 9 0 2 , p.10. - 95 -A f t e r a B r i t i s h Columbia court i n September 1898 found the c o n t r o v e r s i a l amendment to the Mines Act c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y v a l i d , James Dunsmuir announced h i s i n t e n t i o n to remove Chinese workers from h i s mines. But soon a f t e r Dunsmuir's announcement, John Bryden appealed the court's d e c i s i o n . In I899 the Appeal Court declared the amendment e u l t r a v i r e s the l e g i s l a t u r e . Notwithstanding the Appeal Court's d e c i s i o n , the next year the l e g i s l a t u r e again r e -enacted the amendment to the Mines Act. In 1900 James Dunsmuir decided t o make a gesture towards meeting the miners' demand f o r Chinese e x c l u s i o n . Speaking at South W e l l i n g t o n i n May during the 1900 p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n campaign, James Dunsmuir t o l d a gathering of miners that he had always fought against Chinese e x c l u s i o n but was ready at l a s t to accede to * the miners' w i l l t hat Chinese be replaced w i t h white m i n e r s . ^ His p u b l i c announcement may have been the reason he narrowly defeated John E a d c l i f f e , a miner and labour candidate who opposed him i n the Comox r i d i n g . I n J u l y W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s L t d . - the o l d company was re-organized the same year-5 / a d v e r t i s e d f o r 500 white miners to supercede Chinese miners i n W e l l i n g t o n , Extension and Cumberland mines. The company found p a r t of i t s new work f o r c e i n the A United Kingdom but t r o u b l e arose when the miners reached Cumberland. W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s arranged to b r i n g out 200 it-miner s on a c o n t r a c t basis d i r e c t from Hamilton and 36 News. May 2 2 , 1 9 0 0 , p.5-- 96 -L a n a r k s h i r e , Scotland. One hundred and twenty miners were destined f o r Cumberland. In October 1900 the f i r s t 53 miners a r r i v e d i n Cumberland. A dispute immediately arose. The miners charged that the terms of the c o n t r a c t were not c a r r i e d < out as promised and t h a t they would refu s e to work w i t h 37 Chinese labour i n the mines. The a c t u a l breach of c o n t r a c t was never e x p l a i n e d . Not s a t i s f i e d w i t h the arrangement a t Cumberland; the miners l e f t almost the day a f t e r they a r r i v e d and walked to Nanaimo where Ralph Smith took over t h e i r case. A p r o v i n c i a l c o n c i l i a t i o n o f f i c e r was asked by Ralph Smith to t r y and work out a s o l u t i o n w i t h W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s . The r e s u l t was that twenty miners returned to Cumberland, others went to Exte n s i o n and the remainder di s p e r s e d to Washington and other places w i t h i n the P a c i f i c Northwest. The S c o t t i s h miners who f o l l o w e d the f i r s t group e i t h e r found x c o n d i t i o n s s a t i s f a c t o r y on the I s l a n d or dispersed to other r e g i o n s . F r a n c i s D. L i t t l e , general manager of the Cumberland mines at the time the immigrant miners were employed, b e l i e v e d the company would have been better served i f the Chinese had been r e t a i n e d i n the mines. He s a i d the company spent $ 1 5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 t o b r i n g the miners out from Scotland and had only r e c e i v e d $ 3 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 back i n payment f o r the passage c o s t s . - 3 Manager L i t t l e b e l i e v e d the Chinese were cheaper -37 Labour Gazette, v o l . 1 , 1 9 0 0 ,p.9 7 . News. October 3 , 1 9 0 0 , p . 2 . 38 Report, o p . c i t . , 1 9 0 2 , p.77. - 97 -and t h e r e f o r e better-workers than the Scots. He complained: " I p a i d $3.00 a day f o r £ $1.00 day's work to some of them. 39 I was l o n g i n g f o r the Chinamen." He s a i d there was no p r o f i t f o r the company i f i t p a i d $2.50 a day t o whites K i n s t e a d of $1.00 a day to Chinese labourers because the c o a l K market was so competitive i n the United S t a t e s . He blamed the Nanaimo miners' union f o r c o n t i n u i n g to a g i t a t e i n the mines of W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s f o r the e x c l u s i o n of Chinese labourers and miners. He s a i d that as long as the company could get Chinese labourers from across the seas he would continue to employ them. There was l i t t l e sign that James Dunsmuir's promise to the miners to exclude Chinese workers from h i s mines would be honoured a f t e r the disagreement w i t h the S c o t t i s h miners. In f a c t A s i a t i c employment r a p i d l y i n c r e a s e d i n the e a r l y years of the new century. In 1900 new p e t i t i o n s which p r o t e s t e d recent increases i n A s i a t i c immigration reached the f e d e r a l government. As the f e d e r a l government had d i s a l l o w e d previous r e s t r i c t i v e l e g i s l a t i o n , the miners and other labour groups had an opportunity to express t h e i r opinions t o the f e d e r a l government when i t sent fihe Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration t o the province i n 1901. The evidence given t o the Commissioners revealed 39 Report, o p . c i t . . 1902, p.77 kO I b i d . , p.9 - 98 -that miners and other tradesmen s t i l l had, sin c e g i v i n g evidence to the Commission of 1885, three basic c r i t i c i s m s of A s i a t i c Immigration and employment. F i r s t , the employment of A s i a t i c s prevented many young men from o b t a i n i n g u n s k i l l e d 4 l work and kept many from l e a r n i n g t r a d e s ; secondly, mining accide n t s i n c r e a s e d i n p r o p o r t i o n to the employment of 42 i l l i t e r a t e and c a r e l e s s persons i n c l u d i n g A s i a t i c s ; t h i r d l y , the wages of white labour were depressed due t o A s i a t i c employment and t h i s f a c t tended to discourage the immigration of E n g l i s h speaking people to the province. Formal p e t i t i o n s embodying these three general c r i t i c i s m s were submitted by the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n i n Nanaimo and a r e c e n t l y formed Miners' P r o t e c t i v e Union which had headquarters i n South kk W e l l i n g t o n . In 1901 union organizers from Nanaimo and from w i t h i n the camps of W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s attempted once ^ again t o form a r e g i o n a l miners' union. E f f o r t s to u n i t e the miners on the f i e l d continued throughout the whole year. As wages were s t i l l very low I n the mines since the reductions which had occurred i n the 1890's at Nanaimo and W e l l i n g t o n , hi Report, op..cit.,p.82. See a l s o , the evidence of Ri c h a r d Henry Hodson of Cumberland, p.08. 42 I b i d . , p.83. 43 I b i d . , p.82. 44 See Appendix.PP.215-19,for p e t i t i o n s from the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n and the Miners' P r o t e c t i v e Union. - 99 -the companies* p o l i c y of c o n t i n u i n g to employ l a r g e numbers of A s i a t i c workmen above and below ground was b i t t e r l y opposed by the miners i n 1901. In a d d i t i o n to the presence of A s i a t i c labour who kept wages down, the miners were conscious t h a t the cost of l i v i n g i n the r e g i o n was r i s i n g . W i l l i a m S tocker, the president of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n , b i t t e r l y reported the miners' d i s c o n t e n t : ....but f o r Chinese competition we would have got the ten per cent advance we asked f o r r e c e n t l y . The strong competition of other companies employing Chinese prevented us g e t t i n g that advance.... .The presence of Chinese here has a tendency t o bring other miners and myself down, so that we are not able t o enjoy, the p r i v i l e g e s t h a t white people should enjoy. 4" 0 Nanaimo miners knew that as long as l a r g e numbers of low v p a i d labourers worked near them i n the mines of W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s the standard of l i v i n g of white miners on the c o a l f i e l d was reduced by at l e a s t 10 per cent. Attempts by the miners of W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s to form branches of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1901 f i r s t c emanated from Extension mines where over one thousand miners H-5 Labour Gazette, v o l . 1 , 1900, p.127. No other r e p o r t s of increases i n the cost of l i v i n g came to l i g h t i n r e p o r t s on the c o a l f i e l d . The Vancouver Trades and Labour C o u n c i l undertook a study from 1903 to 1906 and concluded t h a t a 30 per cent increase had occurred i n Vancouver. The C o u n c i l thereupon condemned the p o l i c y of the f e d e r a l government which permitted A s i a t i c and European c o n t r a c t labour t o compete wi t h B r i t i s h Columbia workers. V.T. & L.C., Minutes. October 18, 1906. k 6 Report, o p . c i t . , p.87. - 100 -were at work. The union at Extension experienced many d i f f i c u l t i e s i n p e r f e c t i n g a strong o r g a n i z a t i o n . The miners were g e o g r a p h i c a l l y d i v i d e d as p a r t of the work f o r c e l i v e d , x near the mines and the r e s t l i v e d i n Ladysmith, seven miles away. The union was never o f f i c i a l l y recognized by the company but committees d i d meet w i t h the management on d i f f e r e n t occasions to discuss grievances. ' As p i t committees d i d not f u n c t i o n i n the mines at Extension, the ^ most common complaints brought t o the a t t e n t i o n of the company concerned payment f o r digging out d i r t . The c o a l seam at Extension contained a s o f t sandstone r o o f which tended to f a l l down w i t h the c o a l a f t e r gunpowder shots had loosened the c o a l . Miners at E x t e n s i o n o f t e n had d i f f i c u l t y g e t t i n g what they considered a j u s t p r i c e from p i t bosses f o r digging out the d i r t and James Dunsmuir complained t h a t he was c o n s t a n t l y bothered by miners' committees coming to see him over problems that should have been solved at the . 48 mine. Another source of grievance at Extension i n v o l v e d f the h i r i n g of a check-weighman. One miner s a i d that a check-weighman had been employed by the miners f o r a short time a f t e r 1899 but a dispute arose over whether the agent was to r e c e i v e payment d i r e c t l y from the m i n e r s ' r e c e i p t s or whether he was to r e c e i v e payment from the company and i n d i r e c t l y from the miners. The problem d i d not appear very 47 Information concerning the years 1899-1901 at Extension was scarce. See Minutes of Evidence, op.cit.,1903,p.53; pp.60-61; 238. Nanaimo Herald, June 21,1903, p . l . 48 Minutes of Evidence. 1903, p.238. - 101 -d i f f i c u l t to r e s o l v e but the i s s u e was clouded by two f a c t o r s . The company d i d not want the miners to employ an agent to check the machines and secondly, some miners apparently d i d not wish to pay an agent out of t h e i r 4-9 s a l a r i e s . The weak o r g a n i z a t i o n of miners could not r e s o l v e the dispute and the miners' agent was dropped by 1901. Without the check-weighman to examine the weighing of each miner's c a r l o a d , miners had no way of knowing whether they were docked too much f o r d i r t and s h a l e . In 1901 the miners who l i v e d around Extension mines heard i n d i r e c t l y , i n some cases by rumour, and i n other cases not at a l l , that James Dunsmuir had ordered that he intended to employ only miners who l i v e d at the new townsite which V he founded at Ladysmith. Over 200 miners had b u i l t houses 50 s at Extension before the order a c t u a l l y reached the mines. The company promised to t r a n s p o r t the miners' houses without charge to Ladysmith. U n t i l miners were a c t u a l l y dismissed f o r not obeying the order, there was considerable confusion as to whether James Dunsmuir had s a i d that l i v i n g at Ladysmith S was a c o n d i t i o n of employment at Extension. No p r i n t e d e x p l a n a t i o n was posted. The union at Extension sent a committee of three to discuss the order w i t h the p r e s i d e n t of the company. During t h e i r i n t e r v i e w the miners r e c e i v e d y an ambiguous answer to t h e i r q uestion whether the miners had 49 Minutes of Evidence. 1903, pp . 6 0 - 6 l . 50 Report. 1903, p.48. - 102 -to l i v e at Ladysmith. Q. Who was on the committee? A . I don't remem-ber. Q. I t was s a i d to be composed of George Johnston, McCloskey and Spence? A . I remember Johnston. Q. They say (the men s t i l l considered ** the f o r c e d move a grievance i n 1903) they went down to meet you, had a conversation w i t h you, and that you s a i d you d i d not care where the men l i v e d , g i v i n g the inference that they would be h i r e d j u s t the same, whether they l i v e d at Extension or Ladysmith? A . I t o l d them they c o u l d l i v e where they l i k e d , but I would h i r e , them where I l i k e d . Q. You t o l d them they c o u l d l i v e where they l i k e d ? A . Yes, but that the town-site was to be at Ladysmith. Q. Then they / s a i d they wanted to s t a y at Extension? A . I don't remember....Q. How do you account f o r the men coming back and r e p o r t i n g to these other men to the c o n t r a r y ? A . The same as they have reported l o t s of things t h a t I have s a i d . They s a i d I would recognize the union; I s a i d the r e v e r s e . Q. E i t h e r they must be very d e f i c i e n t i n understanding, or you cannot convey your ideas i n a way that they may be understood? A . Prob-a b l y I cannot convey my ideas.51 James Dunsmuir gave four reasons f o r not wanting the men to l i v e at E x t e n s i o n : My standpoint was: i n the f i r s t p l a c e , we were / too near to Nanaimo; that was the reason of a l o t of t r o u b l e between our workmen. In the next p l a c e , i t was no place i n which t o l i v e . I thought i t would be f a r b e t t e r f o r them to l i v e down here. I f there was no work they could go boating, step on the t r a i n and go to Nanaimo or V i c t o r i a . Another t h i n g , there was no water a t / E x t e n s i o n . There i s a l a k e , and i n the summer time i t i s f i l l e d with a sediment and people cannot d r i n k i t . I n the next p l a c e , a l l the works w i l l be coming towards Ladysmith, as the f i e l d ^ extends t h i s way." 51 Minutes of Evidence. 1903, p . k 79 52 I b i d . , p. 243. - 103 -The n o t i c e of removal was never p r i n t e d and of course was not part of the miners' c o n t r a c t . Nanaimo merchants brought s u p p l i e s over l a n d to Extension and communication * between Extension and Nanaimo was f a i r l y easy. As h i s testimony r e v e a l e d , James Dunsmuir d i d not want Extension to remain w i t h i n the commercial or the trade union o r b i t * of Nanaimo. I n 1901 some miners l o s t t h e i r places i n the mines f o r disobeying the order and others were given places to d i g i n which rock predominated over c o a l : the miners were i n e f f e c t f o r c e d to f i n d work elsewhere. About 200 miners dismantled t h e i r houses and transported them to * Ladysmith on the company r a i l w a y and the miners had to pay the cost of r e b u i l d i n g t h e i r d w e l l i n g s . The grievances over the f o r c e d removal was a nstrong motive f o r miners to 53 enter the union and p r o t e s t the a c t i o n . In January 1901 the Extension miners w i t h the a s s i s t a n c e of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n Nanaimo began a movement to organize the Cumberland mines. At the same time a r e l a t e d movement was under way a t A l e x a n d r i a . Two accounts remain of the Cumberland e x p e d i t i o n . John Mathews managed the mines and enforced company p o l i c y at the mines w i t h respect t o union o r g a n i z a t i o n s . He r e l a t e d some of the events surrounding the b r i e f a c t i v i t y of the union i n 1901. There was a steady unrest at E x t e n s i o n mine at the time they formed a l o c a l union t h e r e , and 53 Report. 1903, p.48. Minutes of Evidence. 1903,pp.65-66;78-87. - 104 -there was a man named Maley (Henry M a i l l e ) who was postmaster at Extension, and a man named M a c k l i n , a Nanaimo man. They came up * and stayed here about a couple of weeks. I d i d not know they were doing anything. As a matter of f a c t they were g e t t i n g men to become members of t h a t union here. They came ba ck a few weeks afterwards and c a l l e d a meeting at the school house. I l i v e d next to the school house, and I saw who came out. I t o l d a few of the men that I would not have a union i n connection w i t h Nanaimo and Extension mines, v> and when Monday morning came I made a p o i n t t o see most of these men myself. I s a i d they could take t h e i r c h o i c e , but I would not have a branch of t h a t union here. I s a i d they were preparing f o r a s t r i k e at Extension, and they would c a l l on t h i s place i n sympathy. I met Mr. Maley, and s a i d , i f you organize these men we w i l l dismiss them. Most of the men t o l d / me they would te a r up the cards and give i t up. With the exception of M a r t i n (no r e l a t i o n to James) Dunsmuir I t o l d them, a l l r i g h t . He was the leader and I l e t him go. 54 Henry M a i l l e may have been a miner i n the past and consented to organize the Cumberland miners. He d i d not have to f e a r d i s m i s s a l from the company. He gave an explana-t i o n of the purpose of h i s m i s s i o n to the miners of Cumberland and defended himself against those who he s a i d had c a l l e d him an " a g i t a t o r . " He t r i e d to convince readers of the News that unions were necessary f o r miners because "there were times" when bosses made them so. He mentioned c o n d i t i o n s i n the A l e x a n d r i a mines where a s t r i k e had occurred i n January. One of the reasons miners wanted a union i n 54 Minutes of Evidence, 1 9 0 3 , p.79 55 Cumberland News, February 6 , 1 9 0 1 , p.4 . - 1 0 5 -Cumberland was that the Cumberland miners expected that an unpopular manager named " F a l l s " at A l e x a n d r i a was to take over at Cumberland i n the near f u t u r e . The miners thought, s a i d M a i l l e , that they would need a union i f he a r r i v e d . t i l t h the d i s m i s s a l of M a r t i n Dunsmuir, the union i n Cumberland c o l l a p s e d . Two weeks a f t e r Henry M a i l l e wrote h i s l e t t e r to the Hews an e x p l o s i o n k i l l e d s i x t y - f i v e miners at Cumberland. The mine was immediately f l o o d e d t o ^ s e a l o f f the f i r e and the mine d i d not resume f u l l operations u n t i l A p r i l 1902. The f a i l u r e to form a union at Cumberland d i d not end the movement f o r a company-wide union. Arthur Spencer, a miner and Nanaimo correspondent f o r the Labour Gazette i n the r e g i o n , r e p o r t e d t h a t " d i s c u s s i o n s " occurred i n February concerning the formation of a union i n the W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r y mines. The Miners* A s s o c i a t i o n sent at l e a s t one organizer i n t o the Dunsmuir camps. A branch of the X Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n e x i s t e d i n Extension i n March and o f f i c e r s of a new branch of the A s s o c i a t i o n were sworn i n i n A l e x a n d r i a l-mines the same month." Extension mines were about two miles from A l e x a n d r i a mines and the unions i n these two camps i seem to have kept i n touch w i t h each other throughout the f o l l o w i n g months. Working c o n d i t i o n s were unusually d i f f i c u l t at these 56 Labour Gazette, v o l . 1 , 1901, p. 281. 57 I b i d . , p. 281. - 106 -mines. Grievances were b i t t e r at the two mines over digging d i r t f o r i n s u f f i c i e n t payment. A f t e r many committees came to see him p a r t i c u l a r l y from A l e x a n d r i a , James Dunsmuir 58 f i n a l l y r e f u s e d to see any more. They had come, he s a i d , w i t h complaints he considered " t r i f l i n g . " The existence of an a l l e g e d l y u n j u s t manager at Al e x a n d r i a named " F a l l s " was an important reason the A l e x a n d r i a miners t r i e d to s e t t l e t h e i r grievances with the p r e s i d e n t i n person. As p i t committees c o u l d not f u n c t i o n at Wel l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s , miners who had grievances to argue had no recourse but to form a committee from the camp and argue the case w i t h whomever would l i s t e n . I n January 1901 the A l e x a n d r i a miners refused to / 59 accept a 20 per cent wage r e d u c t i o n and were locked out. The company o f f e r e d work only on the new terms. In February the miners were s t i l l i n dfepute when they took a l e a d i n g p a r t i n forming the Miners' P r o t e c t i v e Union i n the company camps. The P r o t e c t i v e Union was the instrument through which the miners of W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s expressed t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e o p p o s i t i o n t o the continued employment of A s i a t i c s i n the mines. The P r o t e c t i v e Union, so f a r as can be a s c e r t a i n e d from the i n f o r m a t i o n about i t , was a temporary o r g a n i z a t i o n / formed to p r o t e s t the employment of A s i a t i c s to the Royal 60 Commission of Chinese and Japanese Immigration. In March 58 Minutes of Evidence. 1903, pp.238-240; p.379. 59 Labour Gazette, v o l . 1, 1901, p.217 60 See Appendix, p . 2 1 ? , " P e t i t i o n of the Miners' P r o t e c t i v e Union." - 107 -the company dismissed the o f f i c e r s of the E x t e n s i o n and A l e x a n d r i a miners' unions and the unions were broken up. Not u n t i l August were new agreements made between the company and the miners of the two camps. The Extension miners entered i n t o a one year c o n t r a c t with the company to mine c o a l at $ . 7 5 per long ton of 2100 pounds.^ 1 In a d d i t i o n y the miners obtained $2.00 a yard f o r digging out rock and d i r t . As the standard ton on the c o a l f i e l d was 2240 pounds, the miners had made one of the best agreements t h a t had * occurred s i n c e the p r i c e was reduced from $.81 to $ . 7 5 per ton i n l 8 8 0 . At A l e x a n d r i a the conventional method of payment of the i n d i v i d u a l f o r the c o a l he dug came to an end. As the c o a l seam had become more and more uneconomic to mine a temporary arrangement was made. The miners formed them-selves i n t o groups of s i x and entered i n t o c o n t r a c t s to mine c o a l at agreed upon r a t e s . Included i n the c o n t r a c t was the miners' work i n p u t t i n g up timbers i n the mines. From August to November 1901 no r e p o r t s were published concerning the movement t o form a union at a l l the mines. Then i n November a dispute occurred at A l e x a n d r i a over the p r i c e the company p a i d t o the miners f o r p u t t i n g up timbers i n the mines. The company since August p a i d l e s s than "the customary p r i c e " f o r p u t t i n g up timbers. The 61 Labour Gazette. 1 9 0 1 , p . 2 l 8 62 I b i d . , p.3 4 4 . - 108 -miners formed a new l o c a l union and sent a committee rep-r e s e n t i n g the union to s e t t l e the dispute w i t h the manager. The manager refused to deal with the union committee and / on November 25, 260 A l e x a n d r i a miners struck work. A day or two a f t e r the beginning of the walk-out, the Deputy M i n i s t e r of Labour, W.L.M. King, t r i e d to s e t t l e the d i s p u t e . Mr. King must have entered the dispute on h i s own i n i t i a t i v e as W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s would not have i n v i t e d him. He had r e c e n t l y been i n Rossland t r y i n g to r e s o l v e a s t r i k e at Le R o i mines and he may have been , contacted by Ralph Smith, who was e l e c t e d M.P. f o r Nanaimo i n 1900. By November 29 King succeeded i n working out a compromise s o l u t i o n and the men returned to work. The company agreed to s a t i s f y the wage demand i f the men d i d *• not i n s i s t on the r e c o g n i t i o n of the union. One hundred miners returned t o work and the r e s t l e f t the camp. The mines d i d not open i n 1902. According t o King, h i s t i m e l y entrance as mediator i n the dispute savedthe s i t u a t i o n from becoming s e r i o u s . The o f f i c e r s of the A l e x a n d r i a union t o l d him that i f a s e t t l e -ment had not been reached e a r l y i n the d i s p u t e , the Extension 6k miners would have st r u c k i n sympathy. The E x t e n s i o n miners \ c e r t a i n l y had accumulated grievances; but unless the company had v i o l a t e d the terms or the s p i r i t of the August 1901 63 Labour Gazette. 1901, p . 2 l 8 . 6k I b i d . , p. 345. - 109 -c o n t r a c t , a sympathy s t r i k e by the Extension miners would ^ not l i k e l y have met with unanimous approval. There were not any p u b l i s h e d r e p o r t s of new grievances at E x t e n s i o n , On the other hand, the camp was d i s o r g a n i z e d t o some extent because an e x p l o s i o n occurred i n October, k i l l e d seventeen miners, and d i s p l a c e d 500 miners from work f o r the next s i x months. I f the e x p l o s i o n was a new source p f i g r i e v a n c e because Chinese were present-there was no evidence published t h a t t h i s was the case-the Extension miners might w e l l ha ve considered s t r i k e a c t i o n to p r o t e s t the e f f e c t s of the e x p l o s i o n . Safety c o n d i t i o n s were so very poor i n some p a r t s of Extension mines that Alexander Bryden, the manager of #1 Slope, made numerous recommendations f o r improvements i n h i s submission t o a p r o v i n c i a l commission on c o a l mine 6 5 explosions i n 1902. Taking the v a r i o u s f a c t s i n t o account, i n c l u d i n g the f o r c e d removal of miners to Ladysmith, King's r e p o r t concerning the sympathy s t r i k e may have had s u b s t a n t i a l basis i n f a c t . The A l e x a n d r i a s t r i k e i n November and the r e p o r t e d readiness of the Extension miners to s t r i k e i n sympathy, s t a r t e d new d i s c u s s i o n s among miners i n these camps over the p r o j e c t f o r a r e g i o n a l miners' union. On December 7 the A l e x a n d r i a miners declared a "one day h o l i d a y " and walked to Nanaimo to attend a mass meeting of miners from " a l l camps 6 5 Evidence of Commission to I n q u i r e Into the Causes of Coal  Mine Explosions i n B r i t i s h Columbia. 1903, PABC, Box P.998. - 110 -on the c o a l f i e l d . " The Labour Gazette correspondent, Arthur Spencer, reported t h a t the meeting was a c u l m i n a t i o n of a movement f o r the a f f i l i a t i o n of a l l camps on the f i e l d * w i t h the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n Nanaimo.^ A committee had been formed previous to the December 7 meeting to work on the r u l e s and o r g a n i z a t i o n of theytiew a s s o c i a t i o n . At the meeting a " l a r g e m a j o r i t y " of those present voted to a f f i l i a t e t h e i r l o c a l unions w i t h the Miners' and Mine * Labourers' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n . The meeting was not r e p o r t e d i n the press so there was no way of knowing how many miners had attended from Cumberland aria Extension mines. The new r e g i o n a l miners' union formed i n December 1901 d i d not and could not succeed against the o p p o s i t i o n ^ of James Dunsmuir and h i s managers. According to Arthur Spencer, W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s ' o p p o s i t i o n t o the new union 67 was the reason i t d i d not s u r v i v e i n t o 1902. James Dunsmuir made known h i s o p p o s i t i o n t o the union the day the A l e x a n d r i a miners declared a holiday and marched to Nanaimo. P a r t l y i n r e t a l i a t i o n f o r t h e i r a c t i o n Dunsmuir ordered the mine c l o s e d * ? and i t never re-opened. While the mine-site had been i n c r e a s i n g l y uneconomic to operate i n the l a s t few months of 1901, Dunsmuir's a c t i o n served n o t i c e t o the miners that he intended to l o c k them out of the mines r a t h e r than ^ recognize the miners' r e g i o n a l union. 66 Labour Gazette. 1901, p.399. 67 Ibid.., p .399. - I l l -The mass meeting of December 7 was the c u l m i n a t i o n of a year of p r o t e s t on the c o a l f i e l d . Denied t h e i r requests f o r a t e n per cent advance i n wages, the Nanaimo Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n had a strong motive f o r t r y i n g to a s s i s t i n the formation of unions i n the Dunsmuir mines where the employment of A s i a t i c labour reduced, i n the o p i n i o n of miners on the f i e l d , the general l e v e l of wages. During 1901 the new grievance occurred a t Extension mines, where the miners were f o r c e d to leave the v i l l a g e and remove t h e i r homes to Ladysmith. Together w i t h the dangerous working c o n d i t i o n s at Extension the f o r c e d removal became a perm-anent source of b i t t e r n e s s i n the mines f o r the next two y e a r s . The i n a b i l i t y of the Nanaimo and W e l l i n g t o n miners to r e v i v e the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n i n the Dunsmuir camps i n 1901 ended a decade of such attempts. As a r e s u l t of these continued e f f o r t s at union o r g a n i z a t i o n , James Dunsmuir and h i s supporters developed a g a r r i s o n outlook towards unions. As the formation of unions i n the mines c o u l d l e a d to s t r i k e s and l o c k o u t s , Dunsmuir's supporters condemned union organizers f o r the d i s r u p t i o n they threatened to bring when miners chose to defy Dunsmuir's union p o l i c y . Accord-ing to t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of union a c t i v i t y i n the Dunsmuir mines, union organizers were i n a conspiracy w i t h the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n and S.M. Robins of Vancouver C o a l . The purpose - 112 -of the conspiracy was to r i d the Dunsmuir mines of A s i a t i c labour and g e n e r a l l y bring working c o n d i t i o n s i n the mines up t o the standard of the Nanaimo mines. There was some t r u t h to the conservative view of >^  unions up to 1901; but a f t e r 1901 the Nanaimo Miners' union changed i t s p o l i c y l A f t e r successive f a i l u r e s to organize the Dunsmuir mines the Nanaimo miners decided not t o continue < the e f f o r t . Notwithstanding t h i s change i n p o l i c y on the pa r t of the Nanaimo miners, James Dunsmuir and h i s conservative supporters continued t o see the i n f l u e n c e of Nanaimo i n f u r t h e r attempts by Dunsmuir miners to form unions. The decade from 1891 t o 1901 l a i d the foundation i n the minds of Dunsmuir and h i s supporters f o r their l a t e r b e l i e f that / " f o r e i g n a g i t a t o r s " from Nanaimo and outside the i s l a n d were mainly r e s p o n s i b l e f o r attempts to organize the mines. CHAPTER IV The Royal Commission of 1903 and the Conspiracy of the Western Federation of Miners at Extension Mines From 1901 to 1903 the B r i t i s h Columbia metal and c o a l mining i n d u s t r i e s i n the East and West Kootenay and boundary regions experienced long s t r i k e s between the companies and the Western Federation of Miners. Then i n September 1902 the Nanaimo Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n voted to j o i n the Federation and i n March 1903 the Dunsmuir miners f o l l o w e d Nanaimo's l e a d i n j o i n i n g the Federation. S t r i k e s soon broke out at the Dunsmuir mines over r e c o g n i t i o n of the Federation. As the C.P.R. was f i g h t i n g a s t r i k e i n Vancouver i n February 1903 against an American union a f f i l i a t e d w i t h the Federation, the f e d e r a l government decided i n A p r i l t o send a Royal Commission to i n v e s t i g a t e the reasons f o r the r i s i n g i n c i d e n c e of s t r i k e s throughout B r i t i s h Columbia. Although the Commissioners placed the Western Federation "on t r i a l " f o r causing i n d u s t r i a l d i s o r d e r , the Commissioners made l i t t l e attempt to re p o r t the reasons that l e d the Vancouver I s l a n d miners to j o i n the Federation * and s t r i k e f o r r e c o g n i t i o n of the union. The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Commissioners was tha t the Federation was g u i l t y of c o n s p i r i n g to i n s t i g a t e s t r i k e s on Vancouver I s l a n d ; the i s l a n d miners unanimously r e j e c t e d t h i s v e r d i c t . They blamed - 113 -- 114 -1 James Dunsmuir's a n t i - u n i o n p o l i c i e s f o r the s t r i k e s . The d e c i s i o n of the Nanaimo miners i n September 1902 . r to a f f i l i a t e w ith the Western Federation changed the course 2 of unionism on the c o a l f i e l d . The d e c i s i o n was c l e a r l y r e l a t e d t o the past f a i l u r e of the Nanaimo miners to form a strong r e g i o n a l union. Beginning i n 1901 a sense of 3 f a i l u r e pervaded the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n . Ralph Smith recognized t h a t h i s f a i l u r e t o organize the Dunsmuir miners and t h a t the f a i l u r e of other attempts to organize them i n 1901 s e r i o u s l y weakened the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n . In i t s weakened p o s i t i o n , s a i d Smith, the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n was unable to g a i n the 10 per cent increase that had been demanded si n c e 1 8 9 8 . In 1902 the p o s s i b i l i t y of a new union movement beginning at W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s was remote. Unemployment had been high throughout the r e g i o n since the explosions which had p a r t i a l l y shut down Cumberland 5 mines i n February and Extension mines i n October 1901. A l e x a n d r i a mines c l o s e d i n January 1902. A f u r t h e r cause f o r concern at Nanaimo occurred i n J u l y 1902 when the 1 See two recent analyses of the s t r i k e s which reach the same c o n c l u s i o n . P h i l l i p s , P a u l , o p . c i t . , p . 4 l . L i p t o n , C h a r l e s , The Trade Union Movement i n Canada(Montreal,196?),p . 1 0 3 . 2 "Report of the Executive Committee," Nanaimo Union,September 20, 1902,in Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.7 8 4 . 3 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. December 22, 1902, p.3 . 4 L o c . c i t . 5 Labour Gazette. V o l . 1 , 1902 p.3 9 9 , p.5 9 0 . - 115 -miners r e c e i v e d word that the Vancouver Coal Company would be s o l d l a t e r i n the year t o the Western F u e l Company of San F r a n c i s c o and that S.M. Robins would not continue as superintendent.^ As s e c r e t a r y of the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n since 1895 and now M.P. f o r Nanaimo c i t y , Ralph Smith had dominated the A s s o c i a t i o n f o r many yea r s . But i n 1902 Smith and h i s supporters came under i n c r e a s i n g c r i t i c i s m . ^ There was a growing demand i n the union f o r a new p o l i c y which would give the union the strength to ga i n wage improvements from the company. The m i l i t a n t s i n the union demanded that the 8 A s s o c i a t i o n a f f i l i a t e w i t h a l a r g e American union. They argued that w i t h the f i n a n c i a l and numerical power of a l a r g e i n t e r n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n behind them the miners could take a strong stand w i t h the company. Ralph Smith opposed any other p o l i c y than one of c o n t i n u i n g to work f o r the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the Dunsmuir miners. Smith b e l i e v e d that i f the Nanaimo miners s t r u c k f o r a wage increase without the organized support of the Dunsmuir miners, non-union unemployed miners from the Dunsmuir camps would take the vacant places 9 of s t r i k i n g Nanaimo miners. 6 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. August 20, 1902, p.2. 7 The Canadian S o c i a l i s t . J u l y 12,1902,p.1. No mention was made of the movement i n Nanaimo papers u n t i l August 18. 8 Evidence of Thomas Shenton, s e c r e t a r y of the union i n December 1902 i n Minutes of Evidence.op.cit. T1903.P P.326-343. 9 D a i l y H erald. December 22, 1902, p.3. - 116 -While the Miners' A s s o c i a t i o n d e c l i n e d i n numbers i n 1902 because of the f a i l u r e of the union to solve i t s i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t s , the movement to strengthen the union s t a r t e d around J u l y . The m i l i t a n t s i n c l u d e d i n t h e i r number 1 0 Parker W i l l i a m s and Thomas Shenton. Both men had migrated from strong union regions i n the United Kingdom i n the previous f i v e y e a r s . Neither man was a member of the exe c u t i v e . I n J u l y the m i l i t a n t s l e d a r e v o l t against Ralph Smith's union p o l i c i e s w h i l e Smith was absent v i s i t i n g h i s o l d home i n Northumberland. The r e v o l t began when the union voted t o t a b l e Ralph Smith's request f o r permission to attend the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada annual meeting as the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the Nanaimo union.'1'''" The union then debated i t s a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h the Trades and Labour Congress. The Congress, of which Ralph Smith was p r e s i d e n t , was a l e g i s l a t i v e body which brought before the f e d e r a l government once a year the main r e s o l u t i o n s of delegates who represented the m a j o r i t y of trade unions i n Canada. The Congress c o u l d discuss labour problems but the r u l e s of the < o r g a n i z a t i o n prevented i t from t a k i n g an a c t i v e p a r t i n s t r i k e s and l o c k - o u t s . Parker W i l l i a m s d e r i s i v e l y c a l l e d the executive of 12 the Congress a " G r i t machine." The L i b e r a l government had 10 Parker W i l l i a m s ' background i s mentioned i n Loosemore,T.R. o p . c i t . , p . l 8 0 . See Thomas Shenton^Minutes of Evidence.op.cit. PP.326*-343. 11 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. August 20, 1902, p.2. 12 L o c . c i t . - 117 -become very unpopular among B r i t i s h Columbia miners 1 unions for disallowing the A s i a t i c exclusion b i l l s passed by the B r i t i s h Columbia l e g i s l a t u r e since 1898. The fe d e r a l government had permitted the importation of thousands of European immigrants despite the f a c t , said the miners, that there was already an over-supply of labour i n B r i t i s h 13 Columbia. The federal government was responsible, too, they said, for permitting the B r i t i s h America Corporation i n Rossland i n 1901 to f r e e l y import labour from the United States i n v i o l a t i o n of Canada's A l l e n Contract Labour Law. In August 1902 the Nanaimo miners protested to the federal government when the Crow's Nest Pass Coal Company brought i n 128 Eastern European labourers from the United States to f i l l the places of miners k i l l e d that month i n an explosion. Miners and others i n labour unions had become c r i t i c a l of the support which Ralph Smith and Congress gave Ik the federal government. The Nanaimo Herald, which had given i t s support to Ralph Smith i n the past, charged that the m i l i t a n t s i n the 15 Association had acted treacherously towards him. Parker Williams r e p l i e d that the miners' actions were a r e s u l t of 16 the new circumstances i n which they found themselves. 13 Chris Foley.Minutes of Evidence,op.cit..1903.PP.672-683.Passim. Ik Vancouver Trades and Labour Council, Minutes, March 20, 1902; July 8, 1903. The Western C l a r i o n . January 2 k, 1903. See also Nanaimo Free Press, January 17, 1903,p.l. 15 Nanaimo Daily Herald. August 19, 1902, p.3. 16 I b i d . . August 20, 1902, p.2. - 118 -S.M. Robins had given the miners concessions where p o s s i b l e but he would soon be gone. The miners had been informed, s a i d W i l l i a m s , that " f o r the f u t u r e a d i f f e r e n t p o l i c y w i l l be i n s i s t e d upon by those who own the pr o p e r t y ; l a b o r 17 must be considered a commodity." The miners a n t i c i p a t e d « a wage st r u g g l e w i t h Western F u e l i n Nanaimo. W i l l i a m s p o i n t e d t o the general economic problem faced by the miners. The L i b e r a l government had brought i n European and O r i e n t a l labour year a f t e r year and depressed the labour market. "There was a minimum," he s a i d , "below which wages cannot 18 remain." When the Herald again r e f e r r e d t o the "stab i n the back" the union ga ve Ralph Smith, Parker W i l l i a m s r e p l i e d t h a t the e d i t o r had become steeped i n i d o l a t r y . The miners were not concerned wih p e r s o n a l i t i e s , s a i d W i l l i a m s , but only w i t h the "'hard p r i n c i p l e s of supply and 19 demand i n the l a b o r market." Having withdrawn from the Trades and Labour Congress, the A s s o c i a t i o n began to consider the question of a f f i l i a t i n g w i t h a union that would give i t new s t r e n g t h t o face the - ^ t r i a l s ahead. I n September the executive nominated a committee to study the v a r i o u s i n t e r n a t i o n a l unions and discover which one would give the miners the s t r e n g t h i n numbers they r e q u i r e d . In l i g h t of l a t e r statements that the 17 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. August 19, 1902, p.2. 18 L o c . c i t . 19 I b i d . , August 22, p.2. - 119 -miners had been motivated p r i m a r i l y by p o l i t i c a l c o n s i d e r -a t i o n s when they chose to a f f i l i a t e w i t h the Western Fed e r a t i o n of Miners, the r e p o r t of the committee was a r e v e a l i n g one. Thomas Shenton, who was on the committee and who became the f i n a n c i a l s e c r e t a r y a f t e r Ralph Smith resi g n e d i n December, s t a t e d t h a t the A s s o c i a t i o n had l e f t the Trades and Labour Congress because the miners eonsid-2 0 ered i t a " p o l i t i c a l r a t h e r than a labour o r g a n i z a t i o n . " But the Western Federation had endorsed the p r i n c i p l e s of the S o c i a l i s t P a r t y of America i n 1902. Thomas Shenton was asked whether the union had not j o i n e d another p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . He s a i d that James Baker, the p r o v i n c i a l organizer of the Fe d e r a t i o n , t o l d Shenton 1s committee th a t l o c a l unions were not i n any way bound by the d e c i s i o n of the 1902 convention which endorsed the p r i n c i p l e s of the S o c i a l i s t P a r t y . As to the p o l i t i c a l c o n v i c t i o n s of M s own committee, Shenton s a i d that "we were i n no way, so f a r as I know, decided by the views of those members who 21 were s o c i a l i s t s , t o a f f i l i a t e w i t h t h i s body." The committee examined the c o n s t i t u t i o n s and o r g a n i z a t i o n of the American F e d e r a t i o n of Labour, the 22 United Mine Workers of America and the Western Federation. The committee r e j e c t e d a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h the American Federa-20 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.326. 21 I b i d . , p.327. 22 "Report of the Executive Committee," Nanaimo Union, September 20, 1902, i n Minutes of Evidence, op.cit.p.784. - 120 -t i o n because i t was a l e g i s l a t i v e body similar to the Trades and Labour Congress and was composed of many d i f f e r e n t c r a f t and i n d u s t r i a l unions. As the American Federation did not provide s t r i k e funds during a dispute i n which one of i t s *" members was involved, the Federation was of l i t t l e value to the Miners' Association. The Mine Workers of America was rejected by the Committee. At that time the Mine Workers did not have any l o c a l s west of the Rocky Mountains. Another * reason the committee rejected a f f i l i a t i o n with t h i s union was that the Mine Workers were .Sighting a s t r i k e i n Pennsylvania. The executive of the Mine Workers had assessed a l l i t s members ten per cent of the i r gross earnings * and the committee did not wish to bind the miners to th i s levy. The Western Federation was not a f f i l i a t e d with the Mine Workers. As the Western Federation had approximately 24 l o c a l s i n B r i t i s h Columbia, the committee recommended i n i t s report that the Federation was "the securest and most 23 convenient body to j o i n . " Asked why the Nanaimo Miners joined the Western Federation, Thomas Shenton r e p l i e d , "as a l o c a l union we considered ourselves somewhat a small power, ^ i n dealing with any other company than the company we have 24 been dealing with up to a recent date." 23. Loc. p i t . 24. Ibid., p.326. - 121 -On December 21, 1902 the Nanaimo Miners' Union 7 25 became a l o c a l of the Western F e d e r a t i o n . At the meeting Ralph Smith spoke f o r the l a s t time as se c r e t a r y of the union and explained h i s reasons f o r r e s i g n i n g . He s a i d h i s work as Member of Parliament did not permit him time to perform h i s d u t i e s as check-weighman and.miners' agent. Then he analyzed the miners' d e c i s i o n to j o i n the Western Fe d e r a t i o n . H e d i d not t h i n k the new a f f i l i a t i o n would give the union the f i n a n c i a l s e c u r i t y and power the miners b e l i e v e d i t would. He had advised the union, he s a i d , to wait u n t i l W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s were organized before changing t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n . He expressed r e g r e t that the Dunsmuir miners had not been organized years before. Smith s a i d he be l i e v e d that only when We l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s were organized would the Nanaimo miners stand a chance of winning a s t r i k e . I f the Nanaimo miners s t r u c k , t h e i r jobs would be i n jeopardy because of the number of unemployed miners w a i t i n g f o r work at W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s . Then he pointed to the Washington / mines. Even i f the Nanaimo miners j o i n e d the Fed e r a t i o n , they were unprotected against s t r i k e breakers who might come over from the unorganized mines i n Washington S t a t e . The most that Ralph Smith would concede about the d e c i s i o n to j o i n the F e d e r a t i o n was tha t the miners had cause f o r concern about the f u t u r e . The Western F u e l Company had warned that "economizing" would occur a f t e r i t took over the * mines i n December. James Baker then came forward and 25 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. December 22, 1902, p.3. - 122 -organized l o c a l 177 of the Western F e d e r a t i o n , In January 1903 the i s l a n d c o a l community r e c e i v e d 26 hopeful news. The United States had begun to experience a serious c o a l shortage as a r e s u l t of the long s t r i k e i n * Pennsylvania and the Senate had passed a b i l l p r o v i d i n g f o r a 67 cent rebate f o r American importers of Canadian c o a l . The new Western F u e l Company i n Nanaimo, and t o a l e s s e r extent W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s , would b e n e f i t c o n s i d e r a b l y from the new demand f o r i s l a n d c o a l . Arthur Spencer, a miner and Nanaimo correspondent f o r the Labour Gazette, reported t h a t miners on the f i e l d g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t unemployment 27 i n the r e g i o n would soon be at an end. Pr e s i d e n t Howard of Western F u e l t r i e d to r e s t r a i n the miners' expectations f o r immediate wage i n c r e a s e s . He s a i d that as f u e l o i l was beginning to compete w i t h c o a l i n San Fr a n c i s c o and as * e l e c t r i c i t y was beginning to generate energy f o r l i g h t i n g p l a n t s , the miners should not be over o p t i m i s t i c about the e f f e c t s of the r e b a t e . 2 8 Despite P r e s i d e n t Howard's warning the Nanaimo miners on February 19 struck f o r a 20 per cent wage i n c r e a s e . The s t r i k e l a ^ s t e d only f i v e days. The miners d i d not r e c e i v e the increase but they d i d gain wage concessions which may ^ 29 ha ve been worth a 10 per cent r a i s e , 7 James Baker, the 26 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald, January;.' 1*+, 1903? p.7 6 5 . 27 Labour Gazette, v o l . I l l , 1 9 0 3 , p.7 6 5 . 28 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald, February 2k, 1 9 0 3 , pp. 1 - 2 . 29 D a i l y Herald. February 2 7 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l . - 123 -p r o v i n c i a l organizer of the Western F e d e r a t i o n , returned to Nanaimo from the i n t e r i o r . According t o the Nanaimo Free P r e s s , Baker acted as a mediator between the company and the u n i o n . T h e Free Press believed Baker's e f f o r t s c o n t r i b u t e d t o b r i n g i n g the two sides t o an e a r l y s e t t l e -ment of the d i s p u t e . One s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t of the s t r i k e 3 was the s i g n i n g of a new w r i t t e n c o n t r a c t between the company and the union. The new w r i t t e n agreement signed e a r l y i n March contained some important clauses which expanded -fhe -forme*" contract,.."^" The company recognized l o c a l 177 of the Western Fed e r a t i o n at Nanaimo as the only bargaining agent to represent the miners. The miners consented not t o s t r i k e i n f u t u r e unless ' " a l l other means of c o n c i l i a t i o n had been exhausted" and promised to give t h i r t y days' n o t i c e . The most v a l u a b l e p a r t s of the c o n t r a c t other than union r e c o g n i t i o n concerned the long disputed question of digging c o a l which contained amounts of rock and d i r t . The company agreed to pay $ 3 . 0 0 i f a miner could not make be t t e r wages where " d e f i c i e n c i e s " i n the c o a l e x i s t e d . The company agree that i n a l l d e f i c i e n t work, made d e f i c i e n t by the f o l l o w i n g causes, low c o a l , bodies of rock, or d i r t , whether measur-able or not, or f o r any other such cause, to pay not l e s s than three d o l l a r s per day per 3 0 Nanaimo Free Press. March 3 , 1 9 0 3 , p.2 . 31 "Proposed Agreement....," February 2 7 , 1903,in Minutes of  Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.7 5 3 . See Appendix, p. 220. - 124 -man, so long as such d e f i c i e n c y e x i s t s . The company agree to a l l o w some considera-t i o n of pay f o r d i r t i n co n t r a c t p l a c e s , and where the dig*er i s by such cause hindered making what he otherwise c o u l d make, or an average wage under average c o n d i t i o n s . 3 ^ P i t bosses, miners and p i t committees, henceforth, had a w r i t t e n c o n t r a c t from which to judge the mer i t s of disputes which arose over the question of how much the miner was to r e c e i v e i n cases where d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the c o a l reduced wages to l e s s than the minimum considered necessary by miners 33 f o r subsistence. The c o n t r a c t d i d not give a p r i c e the company was w i l l i n g to pay t o miners who were f o r c e d to remove d i r t along w i t h the c o a l i n c o n t r a c t p l a c e s . The question of how much the miner would be docked f o r the d i r t which appeared i n h i s box cars vras l e f t to n e g o t i a t i o n . Miners at We l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s had f o l l o w e d the events which t r a n s p i r e d at Nanaimo from December to February w i t h considerable i n t e r e s t . Thomas Shenton, s e c r e t a r y of the new union at Nanaimo, s a i d that Extension miners had s t a r t e d to i n q u i r e about the new union a t Nanaimo i n December. Q. How long ago were you f i r s t informed t h a t they (Extension miners) d e s i r e d to organize there? A. P o s s i b l y t h i s t h i n g took place most of a l l a f t e r our a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h the Western Fed e r a t i o n of Miners (December 1 9 0 2 ) . Q. At the f i r s t of the year? A. Yes. Q. And you were informed by Mottishaw and others that there was such a d i s p o s i t i o n ? A. Representation from 32 "Proposed ^Agreement....," February 2 7 , 1903 i n Minutes of  Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.7 5 3 . See A p p e n d i x .P P . 2 2 0 - 2 2 1 . 33 I b i d . , P P . 5 7 - 5 8 . - 125 -Ladysmith were made through the person of Mr. Mottishaw and other p a r t i e s coming, c o n s t a n t l y s t a t i n g to me, ( a f t e r ) t a l k i n g among themselves down there t h a t the men would l i k e to organize, and we have always s a i d - the Nanaimo union has always s a i d , . . . . t h a t whatever Ladysmith or Mr. Dunsmuir's men might do, they must do i t v o l u n -t a r i l y . We could not have any o f f i c i a l connection w i t h them i n any d e c i s i o n t o organize, f o r t h i s reason - that i t has been thrown i n the face of Nanaimo heretofore that Nanaimo wanted t o . . . . reach Dunsmuir's men, and t o create trouble amongst them, and that i s the reason why (we d i d not)....take any n o t i c e , o f f i c i a l l y or otherwise, u n t i l they had i n i t i a t e d steps them-selves i n t h i s matter....34 Thomas Shenton's statements are s i g n i f i c a n t because they c o n t r a d i c t statements made i n the Report of the Royal Commis- s i o n on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes which i n v e s t i g a t e d the causes of the s t r i k e s which began i n March at Extension and i n May a t Cumberland. The Report s a i d t h a t Extension miners had had few d i s c u s s i o n s on the subject of union o r g a n i z a t i o n p r i o r to March 8 , the day they voted to j o i n the Western Federa-tion."^ ^  Secondly, counsel f o r W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s , E.V. Bodwell, argued during the Commission hearings the same case as he had argued before the Commission which i n v e s t i g a t e d the W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e of I 8 9 O - I 8 9 I 5 he s a i d that the Dunsmuir miners had no d e s i r e f o r a union to f o r c e an o r g a n i z a t i o n * upon the Dunsmuir men. There was evidence that Nanaimo 34 "Proposed Agreement....," February 27, 1903 i n Minutes of  Evidence, o p . c i t . p.337. See Appendix p. 2.2.0. 35 Report, o p . c i t . . pp.4.Q-4l. 36 I b i d . , p.43. - 126 -took an important p a r t i n the W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e of I89O; according to Thomas Shenton the Nanaimo miners d i d not attempt to extend t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n i n t o W e l l i n g t o n x C o l l i e r i e s i n 1903. The Commission i n 1903 adopted E.V. 37 Bodwell's view of the s t r i k e . ' Another d i s p u t a b l e argument i n the Report regarding the o r i g i n s of the Extension s t r i k e which began on March 12 concerns the question of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n over wages. ^ The Report s t a t e s : Up to the time of the meeting on March 8, there appears to have been l e s s general d i s -c u s s i o n among the mass of the miners on the subject of the formation of a labour organiza-t i o n than there had been on the subject of < demanding an increase i n the r a t e of wages. I t was w e l l known that Mr. Dunsmuir was s t r o n g l y opposed t o the formation of unions among h i s employees; t h a t attempts at o r g a n i z a t i o n had, p r a c t i c a l l y without exception, been f o l l o w e d by the immediate d i s m i s s a l of those employees who had been prominent i n the work of organiza-t i o n ; and i t was t o l e r a b l y c e r t a i n that l i k e e f f o r t s a t t h i s time would be f o l l o w e d by l i k e r e s u l t s . No question of wages or c o n d i t i o n s ^ being urgent at the time, the motive f o r e f f e c t i n g an immediate o r g a n i z a t i o n d i d not e x i s t . 3 ° Contrary to the unsupported statement i n the Report, miners at Extension d i d have grievances over wages and working < c o n d i t i o n s . D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n extended back at l e a s t to August 1902. In August the one-year c o n t r a c t , which had 37 Report, o p . c i t . , p.41. 38 L o c . c i t . - 127 -r e s o l v e d disputes over wages the previous year, came to 39 an end. The company n o t i f i e d the miners that e f f e c t i v e September 1 , there would be a ten per cent r e d u c t i o n i n A the p r i c e p a i d to miners. The company increased the tonnage each miner had to d i g from 2100 pounds to 2352 and continued to pay $ . 7 5 per ton. The company terminated the agreement whereby miners r e c e i v e d $ 2 . 0 0 a yard f o r digging out d i r t from the c o a l face. The one year c o n t r a c t was one of the best agreements made by the miners on the f i e l d s ince 1880 and they were r e l u c t a n t to see i t end. A short s t r i k e occurred, but as unemployment was high on the c o a l f i e l d the Extension miners had l i t t l e o p t i o n but to accept the company's new terms. The miners returned to work i n September w i t h the o p t i o n t h a t they might mine at the c o n t r a c t p r i c e or r e c e i v e $ 3 . 0 0 per day f o r mining. Extension miners responded w i t h considerable optimism to the news that the American government had granted c o a l importers i n the United States a 67 cent hO rebate. The news had reached the c o a l f i e l d i n l a t e hi January and by e a r l y February Extension miners had s t a r t e d 39 Labour Gazette, v o l . I I , 1 9 0 2 , p.265. k 0 I b i d . . . v o l . I l l , 1 9 0 3 , p.3 9 2 . hi Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. January lh, 1 9 0 3 , p.3 . - 128 -to consider the idea of asking the company f o r a ten or 4-2 f i f t e e n per cent r a i s e . Extension miners seemed to have a reasonable case. In e a r l y February the two mining towns of Nanaimo and Extension were a l i v e w i t h t a l k of bet t e r „• wages to come. Samuel Mottishaw (Sr.) became the leader at Extension hi around whom d i s c u s s i o n s over wages began to take p l a c e . J Mottishaw had worked at Nanaimo i n the l890's and saved enough m money i n I898 t o buy a small farm outside the c i t y . Afterwards he worked s p o r a d i c a l l y i n the mines when he wished to augment h i s income. His son Samuel worked at Extension and had been v i c e - p r e s i d e n t of a miners' union at Extension which met kk i n f r e q u e n t l y i n 1900. Samuel Mottishaw (Sr.) explained i n May 1903 why the miners at Extension began to t a l k w i t h him i n p a r t i c u l a r about j o i n i n g together and demanding a wage i n c r e a s e . Q. The subject of your c o n v e r s a t i o n was organ-i z a t i o n ? A. Yes, before the meeting was c a l l e d . About a month, more or l e s s before the meeting (on March 8) was c a l l e d . Q. And you had conversa-t i o n s from t h a t time up t o the date of the meeting w i t h d i f f e r e n t men? A. Yes. There were s e v e r a l spoke w i t h me. Q. And the subject of t h i s con-v e r s a t i o n was o r g a n i z a t i o n , or an advance? A. The advance was the f i r s t q u e s tion t a l k e d about among the men. Q. Have you any idea of what number of men you t a l k e d to before the meeting? A. Twenty or t h i r t y . Q. And then, a f t e r you had conversa-4-2 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , 1903» p.55 4-3 I b i d . , p.52, pp.55-56. 44- I b i d . , p.64-. - 129 -tions with these 2 0 or 3 0 men, you had reason to believe that they were tal k i n g to other men besides yourself? A. That might have been done. Q. Have you any idea why a l l these men came to you to t a l k about organization? A. Because I was i n a more independent p o s i t i o n than the balance of them. Q. In what way? A. That I am not obliged to be tyrannized by any bbss. I am independent of any coal company. Q. And consequently they selected you as the man to t a l k to? A. Yes.45 In one conversation that he reported, Samuel Mottishaw said he argued that he didfoot think the miners should mention anything about a union when they asked the company for a 46 r a i s e . In subsequent discussions with miners his idea, he said !, was generally adopted, and there was a "consensus of opinion" among the miners that they were e n t i t l e d to part of the 67 cent rebate from which the company had p r o f i t e d since February. Samuel Mottishaw said that miners had repeatedly complained to him that the company made no allowances f o r 47 digging d i r t . As a r e s u l t many miners made les s than $ 3 . 0 0 a day. Three d o l l a r s had become the minimum amount miners considered was worth working for i n the mines. Extension miners were aware of the new contract that was signed early i n March at Western Fuel i n Nanaimo. There was no guaranteed minimum wage at Extension mines i f a miner found himself digging i n a place which contained as much rock and d i r t as 45 Minutes of Evidence, op . c i t . , pp.55-56. 46 Ibid . , p.57. 47 Ibid . , p.57. See also Nanaimo Free Press, March 1 3 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l . - 130 -c o a l . The establishment of a minimum wage for d e f i c i e n t places was a condition the Extension miners wanted to see i n prac t i c e , but Wellington C o l l i e r i e s would not consider granting a guaranteed minimum wage for digging i n d e f i c i e n t p l a c e s . Q, The rate of wages was as high here as at other places? A, They are not, I know a man who made only $1,30 digging coal on contract by the ton. Q. Who i s the man? A. They would discharge an employee at sight i f I t o l d you his name. I w i l l produce the statement, his name i s on the statement. Q.. How many men do you know of that kind? A. I know there i s quite a few under a $3*00 a day contract. Q. Do you know the reason why they don ft make i t ? A. There may be two reasons. Q. What are they? A, Digging d i r t and getting nothing f o r i t , Q. Do you know the conditions at a l l ? A. Conditions vary con-siderably. Q. What i s the second reason? A. The man may be a l i t t l e d e f i c i e n t himself. Q. Which do you think i s the r e a l reason? A. Deficient place. Q. Are there any men working i n the Vancouver Coal Co. who do not make over $1.30? A. They have an agreement there, that no man s h a l l work for l e s s than $3»00. Q. Whether he earns i t or not? A. I f he i s not able to earn i t they don't employ him. Q,. And i f he does not earn i t the union would c a l l a st r i k e ? A. I .am not talking about s t r i k e at a l l . Q. But I am. You want to introduce a state of a f f a i r s by which a man who i s not able to make over $1.30 can make over $3.CO?1*8 Samuel Mottishaw pointed to another source of grievance at Extension. He said there was a "consensus of opinion" that "a great i n j u s t i c e was done to the men" because they had no clear idea how many hundred pounds of coal they dug. ' Since 1900 there had not been a check-weighman at Extension and the 48 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1903, p.57 49 I b i d. , p.61. - 131 -miners d i d not t r u s t the accuracy w i t h which the company weighed t h e i r c o a l . The miners who made below $3.00 a day i n d e f i c i e n t work were the ones most h e a v i l y docked f o r the d i r t t hat appeared i n t h e i r boxes at the weighing machines. Thus the grievance over digging d i r t f o r l i t t l e pay was f u r t h e r complicated by the miners' d i s t r u s t of the accuracy of the company's weighing procedures, A union- » appointed check-weighman was ob v i o u s l y needed. The miners who supported the establishment of a union at Extension mines previous to the f i r s t meeting on March 8 b e l i e v e d a union would end^ompany f a v o u r i t i s m i n A the mines, A m i n o r i t y of miners made good wages at Extension, s a i d Aaron Barnes, because they were given the best places 50 t o mine, Aaron Barnes had mined on the f i e l d f o r a t l e a s t f o u r t e e n years and had been dismissed along w i t h W i l l i a m 51 Anthony at Cumberland i n 1895 f o r union a c t i v i t y . Barnes supported h i s charge by naming s p e c i f i c miners who made high wages at the expense of the m a j o r i t y because a few bosses favoured c e r t a i n miners. The miners he named were i n f a c t the miners who reported to the Royal Commission that they were s a t i s f i e d w i t h wages at Exten s i o n and d i d not p e r s o n a l l y b e l i e v e they needed a union to p r o t e c t them. Aaron Barnes was questioned as to how he thought a union would improve c o n d i t i o n s by ending f a v o u r i t i s m . 50 Minutes of Evidence. op_.cit., 1903, p.353. 51 I b i d . . p . 3 5 l . - 132 -Q. Without a union how do you f i n d that the working of these favourable places i s regulated? A, In some cases i t Is regulated by favouritism. It i s always i n the i n t e r e s t - I am taking the operators* view of the matter now - i t i s x always i n their i n t e r e s t s to have a number doing w e l l , i n order to keep the balance quiet. Q. You say i t i s the p o l i c y of the company to pay a few men w e l l i n order to keep the balance quiet? A. Yes.53 He said when he worked at Northfield mine i n the 1890*s places at the coal face were divided among the miners every three months by the executive of the Protective Association. In t h i s way a l l miners had an equal opportunity to make high wages some of the time. Aaron Barnes said that the " c a v i l system" of drawing places came from the North of ?• England and was adopted by the union with the consent of the Vancouver Coal Company.^ Statements made by Samuel Mottishaw supported Aaron Barnes' c r i t i c i s m that too many miners at Extension were given poor places to mine. He accepted the f a c t that companies usually favoured c e r t a i n miners but he p a r t i c u l a r l y disapproved of the practice at Extension because the faulted condition of the seams and the large amounts of rock and d i r t contained i n them greatly reduced average wages below other mines on the f i e l d . He said that at Extension mines: There i s the greatest i n e q u a l i t y i n wages that I have ever known of. It consists i n the measure of coal....The vein v a r i e s . In some 52 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . 1 9 0 3 , p.353. 53 I b i d . , p.353. - 133 -places there w i l l be four f e e t of d i r t , and they (the miners) pay f o r the powder where there i s no money i n i t . I t does not pay f o r the powder.5*+ He r e c a l l e d that one day he mined four tons of d i r t and three tons of c o a l but d i d not r e c e i v e any allowance f o r digging out the d i r t . I n h i s o p i n i o n favoured miners r e c e i v e d y. good allowances f o r digging dirt but most miners d i d not. The one year c o n t r a c t from August 1901 t o September 1902 had been a good one because a l l miners were p a i d $2 .00 a yard f o r digging out excess d i r t , but s i n c e September, s a i d Mottishaw, " i t had lapsed i n t o the o l d c o n d i t i o n . " ^ By " o l d c o n d i t i o n , " he meant tha t the d e c i s i o n as to how much, i f anything, the miner was p a i d f o r digging out d i r t was l e f t by the company to the d i s c r e t i o n of the p i t boss. The d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n t h a t had l e d E x t e n s i o n miners to j o i n the P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a -t i o n i n March 1901 had a r i s e n again i n February 1903. The Report of the Royal Commission s t a t e d that a few former Nanaimo miners conspired to fo r c e the E x t e n s i o n 56 miners i n t o the Western Fe d e r a t i o n at a meeting on March 8. The Report accused Samuel Mottishaw of l e a d i n g the con-s p i r a c y . The i m p l i c a t i o n i n the Report was that former Nanaimo miners favoured the formation of a l o c a l of the 54 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , 1903, p.58. See a l s o D a i l y Herald. June 2 1 , 1903, p . l . 55 L o c . c i t , 56 Report, o p . c i t . . p.4-1. - 134 -Western Fe d e r a t i o n at Extension because they had been union miners at Nanaimo, But the Report d i d not e x p l a i n that other former Nanaimo miners opposed the formation of a l o c a l of the F e d e r a t i o n a t Extension; these miners were the company f a v o u r i t e s who made good wages and were the ones th a t Aaron 57 Barnes had named. Discussions f o r and against j o i n i n g the Federation and asking f o r a wage increase occurred i n February and e a r l y March during the t h i r t e e n mile t r a i n r i d e from Lady-smith t o Extension each morning and afternoon. The t r a i n 58 r i d e r e c a l l e d f o r many miners what the Nanaimo Free Press 59 and the Cumberland News considered the most important grievance of the Extension miners; namely, the f o r c e d V removal of miners from Extension to Ladysmith. Contrary to the o p i n i o n of miners who had been f o r c e d to leave Extension i n 1901 and 1902 and remove t h e i r homes to Ladysmith i f they wished to remain working at the mines, the Report of the Royal Commission s t a t e d that the f o r c e d 6 0 m i_ removal was not a source of grievance i n March 1 9 0 3 . The memory of the " a r b i t r a r y " and " i n c o n s i d e r a t e " manner^ i n which the removal had been c a r r i e d out was f r e s h i n the 57 Minutes of Evidence, op.cit.,P P.248-258; pp.258-262; pp.269-273; pp . 2 7 3 - 2 7 9 ; p p l 2 8 7 - 2 8 9 . 58 Nanaimo Free Press. March 1 6 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l ; March 2 8 , p.2 . 59 Cumberland News. May 1 2 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l ; March 2 8 , p.2 , 60 Report, o p . c i t . , p.48. 61 I b i d . , p .48. - 135 -minds of many miners. The i s s u e even caused Chief J u s t i c e Hunter of the Royal Commission of 1903 to question the f a i r n e s s of James Dunsmuir's labour p o l i c i e s . During the questioning of John Mochar, who had l o s t h i s job at Extension because he refused to obey the order t o move h i s house, an i n t e r e s t i n g exchange took place between Chief J u s t i c e Hunter and E.V. Bodwell. Jt His L o r s h i p : Assuming that t h i s i s so, why have tiiey not the r i g h t to l i v e as they l i k e ? Mr. Bodwell: Why have we not the same r i g h t to employ whom we l i k e ? His Lor d s h i p : Mould an employer have a r i g h t t o say he would not employ a man who wore a top hat on Sunday? Mr. Bodwell: I suppose he would i f he pai d the man. H i s Lor d s h i p : On the ground of a b s t r a c t r i g h t he might have but i t remains to be shown that he would be r i g h t i n e x e r c i s i n g i t . I t ^ seems to me, Mr. Bodwell, that there i s a very heavy onus on you to show that these men have been f a i r l y d e a l t with.63 Considering the miners' statements to the Commissioners and the r e p o r t of the Nanaimo Free Press that James Dunsmuir's " o l d e s t miners, men who had been f r i e n d s w i t h him f o r years," ^5 considered the removal a source of grievance i n 1903, the statement i n the Report that the miners no longer f e l t s t r o n g l y about the i n j u s t i c e of the^emoval i s d i f f i c u l t t o i n t e r p r e t . The Commissioners d i d not choose to admit i n the 62 Minutes of Evidence.op.cit.,p .66,p .78,p .79,p .82,p .85. 63 I b i d . , p.81. 64 I b i d . , p.8. 65 Nanaimo Free Press, March 2 8 , p.1. - 136 -Report what i n f a c t they learned i n the hearings; many Extension miners believed they had strong grievances against Wellington C o l l i e r i e s . The Commissioners did not understand that months of economic f r u s t r a t i o n and s o c i a l protest, however q u i e t l y borne, preceded the sudden d e c i s i o n made at the f i r s t meeting of the miners on March 8 to make the demand for an increase i n wages after the miners organized a l o c a l of the Western Federation, The Extension miners' decision to a f f i l i a t e themselves with a reportedly f i n a n c i a l l y powerful union was an i n d i c a t i o n they were preparing, i n r the best way they knew how, for a concerted e f f o r t to improve wages and conditions at Extension. As interpreted by the Commissioners, the outbreak of the s t r i k e on March 12 was the r e s u l t of a conspiracy between Samuel Mottishaw and Thomas Shenton. The f a c t s surrounding the s t r i k e do not support t h i s t h e s i s . On March 7 Samuel Mottishaw posted a notice i n the Ladysmith post o f f i c e . The unsigned notice stated that a general meeting of the Extension miners would be held the folloi-fing day, Sunday the 8th at the "Finns' H a l l . " Questioned by the Royal Commissioners as to why he l e f t the notice unsigned and why the purpose of the meeting was not revealed, Mottishaw stated that his action would have resulted i n his immediate 66 dismissal. The Report stated his action was part of the ^ secret conspiracy which t r i c k e d the Extension miners into 66 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.37» 137 -organizing a union so that a s t r i k e might occur. Once the miners had struck, coal shipments to the C.P.R. i n Vancouver would be halted and C.P.R. s t r i k e r s i n Vancouver would be i n a stronger p o s i t i o n to win the i r s t r i k e . The ingenious theory i n the Report had no basis i n f a c t . The events surrounding the f i r s t meeting of the Extension miners do not provide any evidence that a conspiracy occurred. Samuel Mottishaw and James Pritchard were chosen respectively secretary and chairman of the meeting on March 8. James Pritchard had Immigrated into the coal f i e l d i n 1899 and had worked at Nanaimo for three years before he went over to Extension. He t o l d the meeting the miners had been assembled to discuss the a d v i s a b i l i t y of < 68 asking f o r a ten or f i f t e e n per cent r a i s e . A discussion followed his introductory remarks. James Pritchard said that a consensus emerged that " i t would be f u t i l e to ask 69^  f o r the advance without a strong organization behind them." A motion passed unanimously that the miners organize a branch of the Western Federation before they met with the ^ company. Af t e r the motion passed, the miners i n s t r u c t e d James Pritchard to telegram James Baker to come and organize the new l o c a l . Before the meeting adjourned the miners elected s i x executive o f f i c e r s to run the business of the 67 Report, o p . c i t . , p.37. 68 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . t p.37« 9 L o c . c i t . - 138 -new union. Once the miners made their decision to organize a union James Dunsmuir acted as he had done on similar occasions i n the past. His i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of why the miners organized the union was the garrison i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : enemies from outside his mines were attempting to force a union on his miners. On March 9 James Dunsmuir issued orders f o r the 70 immediate dismissal of union o f f i c e r s . He said that he would close down the mines rather than operate them with a union which was a f f i l i a t e d with "foreigners" across the 71 border. He charged that "agitators" from Nanaimo had worked on the miners and forced them into the union. He was not s p e c i f i c about who the agitators were but presumably he meant Samuel Mottishaw and even James Pritchard. Neither were connected with the Nanaimo union any more than any other former Nanaimo miner. On March 10 the company l a i d o f f Samuel Mottishaw, James Pritchard and other o f f i c e r s and posted a notice that a l l miners had to take t h e i r tools out of the mine by A p r i l 1. The miners voted to s t r i k e on March 12 after they had received a report from the executive that a l l o f f i c e r s had been dismissed. The Nanaimo Daily Herald reported that miners at Extension generally regarded James Dunsmuir's statement that he would never recognize a committee 70 Report, o p . c i t . . p.37« 71 Nanaimo Free Press. March 13, 1903, p.2 V i c t o r i a Daily  Colonist. March 15. 1903, p.8. - 139 -of the new l o c a l union as a " b l u f f . " The Herald reported that miners were confident that with the Federa-t i o n behind them James Dunsmuir would give i n ; but the Herald predicted a long and b i t t e r s t r i k e . The ""bitterness" predicted by the Herald did not erupt i n the form of clashes between miners and s t r i k e breakers. No reported violence occurred during the s t r i k e . The union did not picket the mines and the company did not < import s t r i k e breakers. During the f i r s t week of the s t r i k e Superintendent Hussey of the P r o v i n c i a l Police v i s i t e d Extension and inspected the camp. The Free Press assumed that James Dunsmuir had requested the Superintendent to v i s i t the mines, and charged that the action was "provoca-73 t i v e . " The Free Press stated that the presence of the Superintendent intimidated the miners, but there was no other report of how the miners a c t u a l l y reacted to the v i s i t . Without an o f f i c i a l record of communication between James Dunsmuir and the government to support the newspaper1 charge, the accusation must be considered as speculation based on James Dunsmuir's usual authoritarian methods of dealing with labour unions i n his mines. 72 Nanaimo Daily Herald. March 1 1 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l . 73 Nanaimo Free Press, March 1 6 , 1 9 0 3 , p.2 . 7 L No communication between James Dunsmuir and the govern-ment appeared i n the Premiers Papers, PABC, or the Attorney-General's Correspondence. - 140 -James Baker, depicted as a "foreign ag i t a t o r " by the Royal Commissioners, arrived i n Ladysmith on March 15. He spoke to a large meeting and outlined the his t o r y and co n s t i t u t i o n of the Federation. The miners elected James Pritchard, president, and Samuel Mottishaw ( J r . ) , secretary, 75 of the new union. Samuel Mottishaw*s (Sr.) work was over once the miners had made the decision to organize a union on March 8. He had taken the r i s k s involved i n bringing the miners together i n order that they might make a c o l l e c t -ive demand on the company. He continued to be an i n f l u e n t i a l member but declined to be an executive o f f i c e r i n the new union. The secretary recorded 600 names i n the r o l l book ^ on Sunday, March 15, and another 200 miners joined soon a f t e r . James Pritchard and Samuel Mottishaw (Jr.) had not been m i l i t a n t leaders i n the movement to unite the Extension miners. Both men said they did not have any grievances 76 regarding t h e i r wages and working conditions.' As they i I were not "agitators" they must have been elected to o f f i c e 9 ^ because miners respected their a b i l i t i e s as miners and believed they would give reasonably i n t e l l i g e n t leadership. Not u n t i l two weeks after l o c a l 151 of the Western Federation was organized did the miners try to see James Dunsmuir. At the March 15 meeting the union decided not to send representatives to meet with the company u n t i l a f t e r 75 Minutes of Evidence, op . c i t . , p.37. 76 I b i d . , p.33. p.55 and p.292. - Ikl -the charter of a f f i l i a t i o n had arrived from Denver. In deciding to wait for th i s symbol of a f f i l i a t i o n and power to a r r i v e before they met with the company, the miners must have assumed that their bargaining power would be enhanced. On A p r i l 1 three representatives of the union t r a v e l l e d to V i c t o r i a to meet with James Dunsmuir. James Dunsmuir gave the only recorded verbatim account of the interview. Q. You said there were three of them came? A. Yes, (Joseph) J e f f r i e s , (Samuel) Mottishaw (Jr.) and Jones. Jones was a coloured man. They sent i n t h e i r card and said they wanted to see me. I sent out to ask i f they represented the Western Federation of Miners, and they said they d i d , and I sent word back that I could not see them. That was the end of that committee. 7° The committee returned to Ladysmith and reported back to the union. They had not been able to make a single request f o r improvements i n wages or conditions. On A p r i l 18 the union sent another committee to interview James Dunsmuir i n V i c t o r i a . Joseph J e f f r i e s , the recording secretary (Samuel Mottishaw was the f i n a n c i a l secretary) of the union gave an account of the interview 80 which varied l i t t l e from James Dunsmuir's version. When we arrived i n V i c t o r i a we asked f o r an interview with Mr. Dunsmuir and got one. We 78 Report, o p . c i t . . p.39* 79 Minutes of Evidence. op_.cit., p.239. 80 L o c . c i t . - 142 -asked him would he open up the mine, reinstate the men who had been discharged, and l e t us go to work. Mr. Dunsmuir questioned us - did we belong to the Western Federation of Miners? We said we did, and he then s a i d , W I can't t a l k business with you." Before he would t a l k busi-ness with any committee we would have to c a l l an open meeting, purge ourselves from the Western Federation and appoint a committee, and then he would t a l k business, and then only....The next question was asked, "Supposing we broke with the Western Federation and formed a l o c a l union here, would that meet the requirement," and he said he would have nothing to do with any union at a l l , nor would he employ any member of theoUnion. That, of course, ended our interview." 1 The committee reported th e i r f a i l u r e to obtain any concessions to a mass meeting of the miners on A p r i l 20. Miners were disappointed with the lack of r e s u l t s achieved i n the two ^ meetings with the company. Some l e f t Extension and Ladysmith for work i n lumber camps; others turned to f i s h i n g and a few began to leave f o r coal mines i n Washington State i n search of work. On A p r i l 18, the day the second committee reported i t s f a i l u r e to begin negotiations with the company, the union sent a delegation to the Nanaimo union to ask for 82 f i n a n c i a l assistance. As the Cumberland miners had organ-i z e d a branch of the Western Federation on A p r i l 5, the delegation to Nanaimo appealed for assis tance from Cumber-land miners through the o f f i c e of the secretary i n Nanaimo. From A p r i l 18 to the end of the month contact between 81 Minutes of Evidence, op.ci t . , p.62 82 Ibid., p.761. - 143 -Extension miners and the unions i n Nanaimo and Cumberland , turned into cooperation. The s t r i k e at Extension mines was not, then, a r e s u l t of a conspiracy. In their attempt to prove that the Western Federation was a dangerous and disruptive force i n the i n d u s t r i a l a f f a i r s of Vancouver Island, the Royal Commissioners i n their Report underestimated and overlooked the complex background of labour disputes on the c o a l f i e l d . The entrance of the Western Federation into the region undoubtedly gave the i s l a n d miners new reason to hope that they might es t a b l i s h union conditions i n the mines. But the explanation as to why the miners wanted union conditions i s to be found i n the toiners' experience of low wages and d i f f i c u l t working conditions. With a heritage of unionism on the c o a l f i e l d extending back to 1871, i t was to be expected that the Extension miners would embrace the opportunity to a f f i l i a t e with a strong and reputedly wealthy i n t e r n a t i o n a l union when the Federation organized the Nanaimo miners. CHAPTER V The Royal Commission of 1903 and the Conspiracy of the Western Federation at Cumberland With the majority of the miners on the c o a l f i e l d already members of the Western Federation by March, i t remained f o r the Cumberland miners to seize the opportunity presented by the entrance of the Federation into the coal-f i e l d . The Cumberland camp had always been a d i f f i c u l t one to organize and unions had never lasted for more than a week since the mine opened i n I889. Yet on A p r i l 5 1903 the Cumberland miners requested James Baker to come to Cumberland and organize a new union. The Royal Commissioners reported that the organiza-t i o n of the Cumberland miners by the Federation was part of a general conspiracy by the Federation to close down the 1 * i s l a n d mines i n support of the C.P.R. s t r i k e r s i n Vancouver. The evidence given by the Cumberland miners to the Commissioners 2 completely contradicted the o f f i c i a l Report. To the majority of Cumberland miners - and Extension miners - the existence of the large and reputedly wealthy i n t e r n a t i o n a l Federation on the c o a l f i e l d was reason enough to attempt to organize a new union and press for better wages; but the Cumberland miners had grievances which were not l i m i t e d to 1 Report, o p . c i t . , p.49. 2 See p a r t i c u l a r l y the evidence of George Richards, the Cumberland Union Secretary i n Minutes of Evidence, op.cit., pp.436-442, 469-471. _ -IUU. _ - 1 4 5 -disputes over wages. The Royal Commissioners learned that the majority of miners believed that freedom of speech and the r i g h t of assembly were severely r e s t r i c t e d i n Cumberland by James Dunsmuir's r e f u s a l to permit a union organization 3 to exist i n h i s mines. James Dunsmuir was accused by miners and other v i s i t o r s to Cumberland of encouraging the repression of p o l i t i c a l freedom and the intimidation of ; miners who t r i e d to t e s t i f y against c e r t a i n company practices. Events associated with the course of the Cumberland s t r i k e were to prove that most miners were a f r a i d to speak out 4 f r e e l y against the company. Evidence given to the Commis-sioners by miners and other witnesses revealed grievances 5 that were barely hinted at i n the o f f i c a l Report. The Royal Commissioners i n their o f f i c i a l Report gave an analysis of why the Cumberland miners on A p r i l 5 formed a branch of the Western Federation. The organization of the miners at Union at thi s time (a month afte r the union was formed at Extension), and the subsequent declaration of s t r i k e cannot, i n our opinion, be accounted for except as part of the general scheme to t i e up the coal supply on Vancouver Island, i n aid of the U.B.R.E. s t r i k e r s at Vancouver. The st r i k e at Union was i n r e a l i t y a s t r i k e i n sympathy with the men who were out at Lady-smith, and the manner i n which t h i s was procured cannot be too c a r e f u l l y considered, as i l l u s t r a t i n g . . . . t h e comparatively simple 3 Minutes of Evidence, op.cit.« pp.382-504, passim. 4 See the report of S o l i c i t o r D.M.Rogers to the Attorney-General. S o l i c i t o r Rogers found that during the s t r i k e the miners were a f r a i d to t e s t i f y against the company when the company was charged with employing Chinese labour underground. Attorney-General, Correspondence, Letters Inward, R o l l No.4 ,File No. 3 4 0 0 / 0 3 - 3 9 9 9 / 0 3 , PABC. 5 Report, op . c i t . . p.55« - 146 -manner i n which a body of men may, at the instance of a few persons of ordinary a d r o i t -ness and cunning, be drawn into a deplorable s i t u a t i o n , from which they are unable to extricate themselves without humiliation and. < loss....There was moreover, not a single reason of importance given by a witness which would s a t i s f a c t o r i l y account f o r the formation of an organization under the exi s t i n g circumstances and at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r time. A desire f o r "freedom of expression of opinion," for " i n d i v i d u a l l i b e r t y , " f o r "the r i g h t to have an organization," were put forward....as reasons which prompted the formation of an organization.' The Commissioners referred to James Dunsmuir's "well known att i t u d e " towards unions as a reason the majority of miners would not have wanted to j o i n a union. The Commissioners stated the miners "made l i t t l e or no complaint" about the< wages they earned at the time they joined the union.^ To strengthen the e f f e c t of their Report, the Commissioners could have shown that the coal seam at Cumberland, unlike the seam at Extension, was r e l a t i v e l y free from serious < f a u l t s ; but the significance of t h i s important condition of 10 work was not apparent to them. Committed as they were 6 Report, o p . c i t . , p.49. 7 I b i d . , p.55. 8 L o c . c i t . 9 L o c . c i t . 10 Disputes over the payment for digging d i r t and rock occurred at Cumberland but they were not as frequent or as b i t t e r as at Extension. See Nanaimo Free Press. May 30,1903,p.3. Compare George Richards comments on the wage question at Cumberland with statements made by Samuel Mottishaw on wage grievances i n Extension mines i n Minutes of Evidence, op . c i t . , pp.57-61 and pp.493-494. - 147 to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that a conspiracy had taken place, the Commissioners did not explain i n the Report the contra-dictory evidence that no witness either admitted or revealed that he believed that the Cumberland miners' s t r i k e which began on May 2 was a st r i k e i n sympathy with the Extension m i n e r s , 1 1 George Richards, the new leader of the Cumberland miners, t o l d the Commissioners the miners had "talked q u i e t l y " i n March of the Western Federation's new l o c a l s i n Nanaimo and Extension but he did not say whether the miners had discussed the new rebate on coal which the company had 12 13 1^ -gained. Together with John Hutchinson, Orim Barber and 15 William Anthony, who were o f f i c e r s i n the new union, George Richards stated that the miners became interested i n joining the Federation because i t was a large, powerful i n t e r n a t i o n a l union which reportedly supported i t s l o c a l s during s t r i k e s . 1 ^ Richards said the miners joined the union i n A p r i l because James Baker had made temporary headquarters i n Nanaimo: "The Western Federation (was) a strong organization, and i t (was) 17 a good chance to j o i n . " George Richards stated that the p r i n c i p a l demand of 12 I b i d . , p.4 3 8 . 13 I b i d . , p.442. 14 I b i d . , p . 3 9 1 . 1 5 I b i d . , p.4 3 2 . 16 Ibid., p.4 3 9 . 17 I b i d . , p.4 3 7 . - 148 -the Cumberland miners was f o r a c o l l e c t i v e union contract. He intimated that the miners i n Cumberland had either seen or discussed the de t a i l s of the new contract which had been 19 negotiated at Nanaimo i n early March. Cumberland miners wished to implement the practice whereby a miner who had a dispute with a p i t boss over the price the miner was to receive for digging d i r t and rock would be given a day wage of $ 3 . 0 0 . Richards argued that miners had complained of the "Iron c l a d " system i n which the company hired miners on an i n d i v i d u a l contract basis. Under th i s system miners had to dig d i r t and rock at the price which the p i t boss had set. He explained a common s i t u a t i o n : Suppose i t i s a case of yardage. He (the p i t boss) says, I w i l l give you $ 2 . 7 5 and he (the miner) wants $ 3 . 0 0 , and he says you won't get i t . You w i l l have to leave. That i s dealing with the i n d i v i d u a l . The union i s formed so that they can deal c o l l e c t i v e l y . 2 0 The miners thought that the only way the vexed question of digging d i r t and rock could be f a i r l y dealt with was for the company to recognize a union p i t committee i n the mines. When the Royal Commissioners referred to the f a c t that few miners complained of receiving low wages at Cumberland, Richards argued that the miners saw no point i n discussing 18 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . T p. 4 9 3 . 19 I b i d . . p.4 9 3 , 7 5 3 . See Appendix p. 2 2 0 . Agreement between the Western Fuel Company and the Nanaimo Miners' Union. 20 I b i d . , p.4<93-- 14-9 -grievances over wages "'until they had a union." The Cumberland miners took the same course as the Extension miners; at the beginning of the s t r i k e they put aside X. making wage demands u n t i l they could convince the company to make a c o l l e c t i v e agreement with the new union* James Heed was among the few miners who opposed the formation of a branch of the Western Federation i n Cumberland. Although he approved of l o c a l unions, he spoke against the miners forming a l o c a l of the Federation i n A p r i l because he believed the time was inopportune. I think the men here took the wrong time for forming this union, seeing that they had formed the Western Federation of Miners at Ladysmith and Mr. Dunsmuir would not recognize i t . In my opinion i t would have been much better to see how Ladysmith would get along before we ran into the same d i f f i c u l t y . 2 2 As James Reed was the only miner who gave evidence against the union, h i s statements were s i g n i f i c a n t . He observed that grievances among miners were a common phenomenon i n mining communities; the camp need not have been disrupted because "some men" had grievances over wages. But James Reed's statements agreed with those made by William 24- 2 5 Anthony and David Halliday, executives of the new union, 21 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.4t93« 22 I b i d . , p.4$5. 23 I b i d . , p.4:6,5. 24 I b i d . , p.462. 2 5 Report, o p . c i t . , p.55. I b i d . . p .4 l7 . - 150 -on the question of the value of p i t committees. James Dunsmuir b e l i e v e d such committees would s e r i o u s l y i n t e r -f e r e w i t h the management of h i s mines. James Heed s t a t e d : I t (the p i t committee) would a l l a y a c e r t a i n amount of i r r i t a t i o n and i n cases where ^ disputes occurred w i t h the management such as d e f i c i e n t work, i t would have a tendency t o have these men remunerated according to a f a i r day's wage. ° James "Reed's evidence on the question of p i t committees was i n accord w i t h that of miners, who l i k e h i m s e l f , had migrated i n t o the r e g i o n o r i g i n a l l y from the United Kingdom. Of t h i s evidence the Report of the Royal Commission s a i d n othing. The Commissioners t r e a t e d as i n s i g n i f i c a n t statements by miners who s a i d t h a t a union o r g a n i z a t i o n would give them "freedom of expression of o p i n i o n " or " i n d i v i d u a l 27 l i b e r t y . " The Commissioners d i d not seem to understand the economic and p o l i t i c a l f u n c t i o n s of unions i n B r i t i s h 28 Columbia and throughout the western World. The Commis-sioners assumed that i f miners d i d not have s p e c i f i c and ^ d e t a i l e d wacge grievances, they d i d not have a l e g i t i m a t e reason f o r forming a u n i o n . ^ Even a f t e r grievances over 26 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . p.4 6 9 . 27 Report., o p . c i t . , p.55* 28 However, the se c r e t a r y to the Commissioners, W.L.M.King, gave a good a n a l y s i s of the f u n c t i o n s of unions and the reasons f o r t h e i r growth i n an i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t y . He s a i d that a union's demand f o r a c o l l e c t i v e c o n t r a c t was a " n a t u r a l and l o g i c a l " one i n the circumstances of i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t y * fteftftrt, p.6 5 . 29 I b i d . , p.41, 5 5 . - 151 -wages had been demonstrated to the Commissioners, as i n the case of the Extension miners, the Commissioners discounted t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n causing the miners to organize a union t o achieve improvements. W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s refused to grant the miners the r i g h t to have an o r g a n i z a t i o n . In doing so the company prevented miners' unions from becoming economic and p o l i t i c a l f o r c e s i n the communities of Extension Ladysmith and Cumberland as were the miners i n Nanaimo and unions elsewhere. At Cumberland and Extension the miners had no o r g a n i z a t i o n i n which they could d i s c u s s mining l e g i s l a t i o n , s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n such as workman's compensa- x t i o n , immigration Laws, t a r i f f s or unemployment as was the 30 case i n union h a l l s i n Nanaimo, Vancouver or Rossland. By j o i n i n g the Western Fe d e r a t i o n the Cumberland miners saw an opportunity to end t h e i r s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l a l i e n a t i o n n i n the communities dominated by W e l l i n g t o n £ C o l l i e r i e s . The statements of the leaders of the union movement support t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . George Richards s a i d h i s reason f o r j o i n i n g the union was that membership i n the union would permit him the "chance to vent my thoughts and 3 1 f e e l i n g s and hear others on the same s u b j e c t s . " W i l l i a m Anthony, who had been dismissed f o r union a c t i v i t y i n 1895 at Cumberland, s a i d that r e c o g n i t i o n of the union would 30 The minute books of the Nanaimo Miners' Union of t h i s p e r i o d were destroyed by a f i r e . The Vancouver Trades and Labour C o u n c i l , Minutes, 1902-1903, passim. T i n d i c a t e d the wide range of i s s u e s which union c o u n c i l s discussed, stud i e d and acted upon. 31. Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.4-38. - 152 -give him "freedom" from a r b i t r a r y d i s m i s s a l . David H a l l i d a y had migrated from L a n a r k s h i r e , Scotland i n 1 9 0 1 . He was c r i t i c a l of the e f f e c t s of W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s ' a n t i - u n i o n p o l i c y . Q. You say, Mr. H a l l i d a y , that t h e r e was no freedom of speech previous to the formation of the union here, t h a t there was a c u r t a i l -ment i n the l i b e r t y of speech i n reference t o p o l i t i c a l matters. What p o l i t i c a l d o c t r i n e s were they the men could not mention without danger to themselves? A. I s t a t e d that trade union t a l k or p o l i t i c a l t a l k could not be discussed without f o r f e i t i n g your employment. I f you took o p p o s i t i o n to the employers-that i s the p o s i t i o n . Q. I n r e f e r r i n g to p o l i t i c s you probably thought of the d o c t r i n e s of S o c i a l i s m p a r t i c u l a r l y ? A. W e l l , any p o l i t i c s . E.V. Bodwell argued, and the Commissioners adopted the view that Western Federation unions were i n r e a l i t y S o c i a l i s t 34-c l u b s . The Commissioners seemed to assume that miners were 11 s o c i a l i s t i c " i f they a c t i v e l y strove f o r l e g i s l a t i o n i n the i n t e r e s t s of workingmen and were c r i t i c a l of the power that l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n s wielded i n the l e g i s l a t u r e . The miners could have t o l d the Commissioners what Henry M a i l l e had. t o l d the people of Cumberland i n 1901 concerning the miners' i n t e r e s t i n forming a union. Henry M a i l l e has s a i d that a union was a " f r a t e r n a l s o c i e t y K 3 5 which gave b e n e f i t s . " Besides operating be n e f i t funds, 32 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t •, p.4-32. 33 I b i d . , p.4-16. 34- E.V. Bodwell, I b i d . , p.4-3 5 ; Chief J u s t i c e Hunter . I b i d , .p .4-08. 35 Cumberland News, February 6, 1 9 0 1 , p.2 . - 153 -unions gave workmen a sense of comradeship, s o c i a l i d e n t i t y and r e s p e c t . George Richards came c l o s e s t to e x p l a i n i n g t h i s s o c i a l aspect of unions but h i s statements i m p l i e d that he wanted an opportunity to discuss only p o l i t i c a l questions The Report of the Royal Commission i n t e r p r e t e d the miners* demand f o r the r i g h t to form a trade union at Cumberland i n the context of the i n c r e a s i n g support that miners had given independent labour candidates i n the region.^ 7 E.V. Bodwell's cross-examination of miners such as John Hutchinson and David H a l l i d a y , and other evidence drawn from the Federation's Miners' Magazine published i n Denver, were the basis on which the Commissioners concluded th a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n at Cumberland was formed i n the main x by s o c i a l i s t a g i t a t o r s i n league w i t h the Western Federation and Nanaimo s o c i a l i s t s . ^ Miners questioned by the Commission denied t h a t a p o l i t i c a l conspiracy had occurred. As only David H a l l i d a y and John Hutchinson were members of the new S o c i a l i s t P a r t y i n Nanaimo and had j o i n e d the party a f t e r the Cumberland s t r i k e began on May 2, the Commission's conclusions were founded on very weak evidence. Evidence that the union movement at Cumberland was 36 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p . k 3 8 . 37 Loosemore, T.R., op . c i t . , pp.172-185, passim. 38 Report, o p . c i t . , p.68. - 154 -a s o c i a l p r o t e s t movement came from Reverend L.W. H a l l . The Reverend Mr. H a l l had begun missionary work among the Chinese at Cumberland f o r the Methodist Church i n 1892.39 He b e l i e v e d t h a t the existence of the company-dominated town side by side w i t h the company-dominated Chinese were the * sources of the miners' discontent and the reason they wanted 41 40 a union. He c r i t i c i z e d both the company and the miners f o r t h e i r inhumane treatment of the Chinese i n Cumberland. He s t a t e d t h a t the company dominated the Cumberland miners by i n t i m i d a t i o n and r e p r e s s i o n of f r e e speech. I mean t h i s : the c o n d i t i o n s that have pre-v a i l e d here i n the l a s t nine years w i t h regard to the Chinese, and w i t h regard to the e f f e c t -the f a r reaching e f f e c t s on church, coroners' j u r i e s , the law and general treatment of the Chinese-the r e p r e s s i v e atmosphere th a t has e x i s t e d and even now e x i s t s i n t h i s town w i t h , regard to the present management of the mines. 4" 2 He charged that the company made the Chinese i n t o an e x p l o i t e d c l a s s of people by paying them low wages, and the miners h-3 t r e a t e d them a c c o r d i n g l y as a despised r a c e . J He s a i d t h a t he would have been prepared to a s s i s t i n the organiza-t i o n of the Chinese i n t o a separate union i f the miners had * guaranteed the Chinese the opportunity t o earn equal pay f o r 44 the economic u p l i f t i n g of the Chinese, s a i d Reverend H a l l . 39 Heverend L.H. H a l l , Correspondence, o p . c i t . , PABC. 40 Minutes of Evidence. op_.cit., p.452 , 454 , 4 5 9 . 41 I b i d . , p.4 5 5 . 42 I b i d . , p.453-43 I b i d . , p.4 5 2 . 4 4 I b i d . , p.4 5 2 . - 155 -Mr. H a l l contended that Cumberland miners wanted a union to have greater freedom of expression. The grievance i n the past seems to me to have been t h i s : that the i n d i v i d u a l workman himself had no freedom of expression or x thought even; t h a t , once having done h i s day's work, his freedom of t a l k was always, to my mind, i n a r e p r e s s i v e s t a t e on the subject of v o t i n g , f o r instance.* 5 George Richards mentioned the names of three miners who had been dismissed f o r opposing James Dunsmuir i n the e l e c t i o n of 1900 when John R a d c l i f f e had run as labour candidate against h i s employer i n the p r o v i n c i a l r i d i n g of South Nanaimo. George Richards and Mr. H a l l s a i d that the e f f e c t of these d i s m i s s a l s were s t i l l f e l t i n Cumberland i n 1903. I t was the general o p i n i o n of every man who entered i n t o the matter a c t i v e l y that he had to go ( i f h i s p o l i t i c a l o p i n i o n was opposite to t h a t of the company and i t s s u p p o r t e r s ) , and t h i s i s the general o p i n i o n regarding anything i n t h i s camp to-day. 4"" The R o y a l Commissioners d i d not i n d i c a t e i n t h e i r Report — < that t h i s evidence concerning the r e p r e s s i o n of f r e e speech was given t o them. Nor d i d the Commissioners r e p o r t the degree of importance which the miners placed on t h e i r r i g h t t o organize a union. Mr. H a l l a l s o charged that miners on coroner's j u r i e s 4-5 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . p.4-60. 4-6 Reverend H a l l , I b i d . , pp.4-99-500. - 156 -had been i n t i m i d a t e d by the company manager and foremen who questioned witnesses at j u r y proceedings. On one occasion i n 1902 a d e l e g a t i o n of Chinese workers came to H a l l and t o l d him they were reasonably c e r t a i n an engineer who worked the underground e l e v a t o r system had d e l i b e r a t e l y 1+7 caused the death of a Chinese miner. The coroner's j u r y concluded t h a t no one was t o blame f o r the a c c i d e n t ; but the evidence i n d i c a t e d that e i t h e r the engineer had made 48 a mistake or the Chinese miner was n e g l i g e n t . H a l l s a i d that manager John Mathews' manner of questioning witnesses 49 during the inquest was c a l c u l a t e d to i n t i m i d a t e them. H a l l a l l e g e d that had the accident i n v o l v e d the death of a white miner, the d e c i s i o n of the j u r y would have been d i f f e r e n t and the company would not have t r i e d t o p r o t e c t the engineer. H a l l asked a Vancouver b a r r i s t e r to attend the inquest w i t h him and give h i s o p i n i o n as to whether the ju r y and the witnesses were i n t i m i d a t e d by the company. The b a r r i s t e r , Mr. B l o o m f i e l d , was as convinced as H a l l t h a t the j u r y ' s d e c i s i o n was not a v a l i d one. He s a i d , 'Mr. H a l l , i t i s no use, these men are being - ' I had spoken nothing about the c o n d i t i o n s of t h i s town - he s a i d , 'these men are a f r a i d to do t h e i r duty, they seem to be so - * I have f o r g o t t e n the expression he used - he meant that they were a f r a i d to do t h e i r duty as c i t i z e n s , and that i s 47 Reverend H a l l , o p . c i t . p.4 9 5 . 48 I b i d . , p.5 0 3 . 49 I b i d . , p . 4 9 5 . - 157 -my thought w i t h regard to that same t h i n g . My l i n e of thought was that the company -I don't say they do i t w i t h malice or i n t e n t -I say that the present system has a tendency to make every man t h i n k - r i g h t l y or wrongly I won't say - i f he comes i n c o n f l i c t w i t h any of the company, that that means f o r him discharge.5° Chief J u s t i c e Hunter of the Royal Commission c r i t i c i z e d H a l l ' s l a c k of i n i t i a t i v e i n not t a k i n g the j u r y ' s d i s p u t a b l e d e c i s i o n before a J u s t i c e of the Peace or the Attorney-General of the province. From the evidence of the inquest t h a t he heard, Chief J u s t i c e Hunter concluded t h a t the Chinese could have r a i s e d a small fund, secured the s e r v i c e s of a good lawyer and had the d e c i s i o n reversed. George Richards asked H a l l i f the miners would have f e l t i n t i m i d a t e d i f they had a union behind them. H a l l thought they would not have been.''1 The Cumberland miners' past experience w i t h d i s m i s s a l s f o r union a c t i v i t i e s made them extremely cautious on A p r i l / 5 when they met to organize a new union. Two weeks previous to the 5 t h three Extension miners came to Cumberland and asked a. number of miners whether they were i n t e r e s t e d i n forming a branch of the F e d e r a t i o n . Enough miners s i g n i f i e d t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to j o i n a union f o r James Higney of Extension to w i r e James Baker to come and organize the new l o c a l . An agreement was made between the Extension organ- y i z e r s and c e r t a i n Cumberland miners who were prepared to 50 Reverend H a l l , o p . c i t . , p . k 9 6 . 51 I b i d . , p.497-- 158 -l e a d the new union that at the f i r s t meeting no Cumberland miners would appear on the pla t f o r m w i t h James Baker. George Richards explained t h a t the purpose of the s t r a t e g y was to 52 p r o t e c t Cumberland miners from d i s m i s s a l . As no o f f i c e r s were e l e c t e d on the 5 t h , the company could not begin to /. j break up the union on Monday, the 6 t h . The Report of the Royal Commission s t a t e d that James Baker i n t i m i d a t e d the miners and i n e f f e c t f o r c e d them i n t o the union against 53 t h e i r w i l l . This view of James Baker's part i n the f i r s t meeting would seem p l a u s i b l e i f one assumed that the ^ Cumberland miners d i d not have grievances and were uncommitted about whether they needed a union. As the Report d i d not e x p l a i n the complex background of grievances i n Cumberland, the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that o u t s i d e r s f o r c e d a union on the miners appeared p l a u s i b l e . There was, however, no evidence 54 t o prove t h a t James Baker had i n t i m i d a t e d the miners. The B o y a l Commissioners adopted the company's view that outside a g i t a t o r s had f o r c e d the miners i n t o the union. The events surrounding the f i r s t meeting prove t h a t the company was misinformed. According to the i n f o r m a t i o n James Dunsmuir r e c e i v e d from h i s manager John Mathews, " s h i f t e r s " and "p e n n i l e s s never-do-wells" had swayed the meeting on 55 A p r i l 5 and f o r c e d the miners i n t o the union. ^ B e l y i n g on 52 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.467. 53 Report, o p . c i t . , p.5 3 . 54 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.467. 55 Nanaimo Free Press, A p r i l 1 3 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l . - 159 -John Mathews' i n f o r m a t i o n which had come from one or two of the older company men who were at the meeting, James Dunsmuir made some angry t h r e a t s concerning the new union. He s a i d he was ready to c l o s e down Cumberland mines f o r "ten years" i f necessary "before I submit to have my b u s i -ness run to s u i t the whims of an a l i e n labour o r g a n i z a t i o n . " The Press Committee of the new union r e p l i e d on A p r i l 18 to what i t termed '"many erroneous statements" made by 97 James Dunsmuir. The Committee reported that only a few "company men" r a i s e d o b j e c t i o n s to forming a union on A p r i l 5 and that the r e s t of the "'old employees," who numbered about 150 men, had j o i n e d . The Committee c o r r e c t e d James Dunsmuir's statement that only about seventy miners j o i n e d on A p r i l 5 ; the recorded number was 1 5 7 . The i n c o r r e c t number gave some t r u t h to James Dunsmuir's ac c u s a t i o n that the o l d employees had not j o i n e d the union. The Cumberland miners made no demands on the company throughout the month of A p r i l . They hoped t h a t i f they d i d not provoke the company they might gain r e c o g n i t i o n of the * 58 union. Thus the union d i d not even p r o t e s t when on A p r i l 5 , one of the l e a d i n g u n i o n i s t s , Orim Barber, was l a i d o f f f o r f i r i n g a gunpowder shot i n the mine. He had r e p o r t e d l y ignored the mine r u l e which r e q u i r e d a miner to r e c e i v e 56 Nanaimo Free P r e s s , o p . c i t . . A p r i l 7? p . l . 57 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. A p r i l 1 8 , 1 9 0 3 , p.3 . 58 Nanaimo Free Press, A p r i l 1 3 , p . l . - 160 -permission from a s h o t l i g h t e r whose job i t was to t e s t f o r gas before he allowed a miner to f i r e a shot to loosen c o a l . L a t er i n the month John Mathews l a i d o f f nine union ^ o f f i c e r s as t h e i r places were f i n i s h e d . By the end of A p r i l the miners were faced w i t h the choice of submitting to the d i s m i s s a l of union members or s t r i k i n g f o r the r i g h t to belong t o a union. On A p r i l 26 at a j o i n t executive board meeting of the Nanaimo, Cumberland and Extension miners, the miners 59 agreed to seek an immediate settlement to the s t r i k e . Three delegates, John Hutchinson, James P r i t c h a r d and Thomas Shenton, were sent to V i c t o r i a to i n t e r v i e w W.W.B. Mclnnis and other members of the l e g i s l a t u r e . W.W.B.Mclnnis was M.P.P. f o r Nanaimo South and a government supporter. The board i n s t r u c t e d the delegates to i n t e r v i e w other members of the House as w e l l and to ask them to do whatever was i n t h e i r power t o arrange a settlement of the s t r i k e . The d e l e g a t i o n was t o ask members of the House to t r y to persuade James Dunsmuir to negotiate a settlement w i t h the miners. The miners placed one c o n d i t i o n on a f u t u r e settlement. I t had to be " i n harmony w i t h the r e c o g n i t i o n of the Ladysmith union and the reinstatement of the men discharged, (and) a l s o the reinstatement of the men who were discharged at ,.60 Cumberland." These c o n d i t i o n s proved to be completely 59 "Minutes of j o i n t board meeting of Miners' Unions at Nanaimo," A p r i l 26, 1903, i n Minutes of Evidence, op. c i t . , pp.784-785. 60 I b i d . , p.785-- 161 -unacceptable to James Dunsmuir. In t h e i r f i r s t i n t e r v i e w w i t h Mr. Mclnnis on A p r i l 27 the miners t o l d him that i f the company would recognize the<union, they were prepared t o enter a c o n t r a c t i n which they would agree not t o s t r i k e i n sympathy w i t h any a f f i l i a t e d or n o n - a f f i l i a t e d union outside W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s . ^ 1 Mclnnis thought that t h i s was the only basis on which James Dunsmuir would consent to recognize the union and he was o p t i m i s t i c that a settlement might be reached. On A p r i l 28 Mclnnis brought the miners' o f f e r before the cabinet and the cabinet agreed to w r i t e James Dunsmuir and ask him to permit the government to appoint a mediator i n the s t r i k e . Dunsmuir refused the government's o f f e r and on the 28th he refused to t a l k w i t h the miners' delegates i n h i s o f f i c e s i n V i c t o r i a . Dunsmuir s t a t e d h i s o p i n i o n of the Western Federa-t i o n and l o c a l a f f i l i a t e d unions i n the l e g i s l a t u r e on A p r i l 29 during a debate on the second reading of a Trades 62 Union B i l l . The b i l l was d i r e c t e d against employers such as Dunsmuir who broke up unions by di s m i s s i n g o f f i c e r s and union members. The b i l l would have made d i s c r i m i n a t i o n against union members an offense against the law. The author of the b i l l , James Hawthornwaite, M.P.P. f o r Nanaimo c i t y , argued that once unions such as the Western Federation ^ were recognized on the i s l a n d there would be i n d u s t r i a l 61 "Report of committee appointed by the j o i n t board," A p r i l 29, 1903, i n Minutes of Evidence, op.cit..pp.785-786. 62 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald, May 1, 1903, p.2. - 162 -peace i n the r e g i o n . Dunsmuir i n t e r j e c t e d w i t h the remark that the F e d e r a t i o n was composed of " a g i t a t o r s . " Then Smith C u r t i s from Rossland r e p l i e d that Dunsmuir's statement was untrue. He s a i d that labour t r o u b l e s were o f t e n caused by the " i r r a t i o n a l obstinacy of employers" and mentioned s t r i k e s i n which the Federation had intervened t o bring about peaceful settlements. A f t e r more sharp exchanges across the f l o o r of the House, Smith C u r t i s s a i d to James Dunsmuir, "are you w i l l i n g to agree not t o d i s c r i m i n a t e a g a i n s t a man because he happens to belong to the Western Federation?" Dunsmuir r e p l i e d , " I w i l l attend to my own 63 business." The Trade Union b i l l was defeated that day. On A p r i l 29 at the weekly meeting of the Cumberland miners, Orim Barber, David H a l l i d a y and John Hutchinson reported the r e s u l t s of t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n s i n Nanaimo and V i c t o r i a . At the meeting the miners heard, too, t h a t a l l the o f f i c e r s of the Cumberland union had been dismissed from the mines. The miners e l e c t e d a committee to i n t e r v i e w John Mathews, the manager, to ask him f o r the reinstatement of the o f f i c e r s i n . t h e order i n which t h e i r places i n the mines would come again. On May 1 John Mathews t o l d the committee he refused to re-employ the o f f i c e r s or recognize 64 the union. The next day on hearing the r e p o r t of the committee, the miners voted by b a l l o t on the question of 63 Nanaimo D a i l y Herald. May 1, 1903, p.2. See a l s o Free  P r e s s , A p r i l 29, p . l . 64 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.481. - 163 -whether or not to s t r i k e f o r union r e c o g n i t i o n ; the miners 6 5 voted 208-12 to s t r i k e and l e f t the mines the same day. Although i t was apparent to the miners that they st r u c k over the r i g h t to belong to a union without f e a r of d i s m i s s a l , the Royal Commissioners c o n t r i v e d the theory that James Baker had t r i c k e d the miners i n t o the s t r i k e . The theory was based on Baker's a l l e g e d secrecy concerning a telegram. On A p r i l 20 the Extension miners had met t o hear a r e p o r t from delegates who had met w i t h James Dunsmuir. Upon r e c e i v i n g the r e p o r t , a motion came forward and passed that the union ask permission of the Denver executive t o c a l l out the Cumberland miners i n a sympathetic s t r i k e . Baker approved the request and wired Denver. A r e p l y f o l l o w e d on A p r i l 21. We approve of c a l l i n g out any or a l l men necessary to win at Ladysmith. Organize Japanese and Chinamen i f p o s s i b l e . " 0 Baker gave t h i s r e p l y to Orim Barber, the president of the Cumberland union when Baker met him i n Nanaimo on A p r i l 2 5 . According to the miners present, there was no d i s c u s s i o n of * the request at the meeting of the j o i n t board. Barber took the telegram back to Cumberland when he returned three days l a t e r . The Commissioners b e l i e v e d that Baker t r i c k e d the 65 Report, o p . c i t . , p . k 9 . 66 I b i d . , p.57. - 164 -Cumberland miners by not t e l l i n g Barber that the telegram was a r e p l y to the Extension union's request t h a t i t r e c e i v e permission to c a l l out the Cumberland miners. The use made by Baker of t h i s r e p l y , and the concealment by him from apparently a l l Canadian o f f i c i a l s of the nature or contents of the telegrams sent by him to Moyer, i n which he st a t e d that Ladysmith asked Cumberland out i n sympathy, p o i n t , i n our o p i n i o n , to a d e l i b e r a t e move on h i s part to bring about a s t r i k e a t Union (Cumberland) which might strengthen the hands of the s t r i k e r s at Ladysmith, and at the same time stop the supply of c o a l . t o the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway from Union. ' When the Cumberland miners were questioned by the Commissioners concerning the telegram, they report e d that the telegram was * not the reason they c a l l e d a s t r i k e . George R i c h a r d s , s e c r e t a r y of the Cumberland union, s t a t e d that the miners understood that the Extension union wanted them t o s t r i k e i n 68 sympathy but the miners d i d not choose to act on the request. Cumberland miners, he s a i d , were concerned about the d i s m i s s a l of the o f f i c e r s of t h e i r union. I f a s t r i k e occurred at Cumberland, i t was t o be over the issue of the r i g h t of * the miners to e s t a b l i s h a union i n the mines. James Dunsmuir's c o u n s e l l o r , E.V. Bodwell, r e a l i z e d the miners were not prepared to s ^ t r i k e i n sympathy w i t h the Extension miners even i f the o f f i c e r had conspired to b r i n g * on a s t r i k e . But he learned from president Orim Barber that 67 Report, o p . c i t . , p.57-68 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . ? pp.477-478. - 165 -a conspiracy had i n f a c t not occurred. Q. (By Mr. Bodwell) As a matter of f a c t , the o f f i c e r s of t h i s lodge wanted the men to go out i n sympathy w i t h ( E x t e n s i o n ) , and the men would not do i t ? A. No. Q. You d i d not advocate that y o u r s e l f ? A. No. Q. None of the o f f i c e r s of the lodge? A. No. Q. Mr. Baker did? A. I never heard him. Q. How do you account f o r Mr. Moyer telegr a p h i n g to him that he approves of c a l l i n g out enough men to win at Ladysmith? A. That i s correspondence between themselves... Q. Then you d i d not discuss the question of sympathetic s t r i k e w i t h Ladysmith? A. N o , s i r . Q. This telegram was read, I understand, at a meeting on A p r i l 29, the re g u l a r weekly meeting? A. Yes. Q. And you say tha t no p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n was taken? A. No, s i r . Q. Was not d i s -cussed at a l l ? A. No, s i r . Q. When was the committee appointed that went to see Mr.Mathews i n regard to the ta k i n g back of the men? A. I would have t o look up those dates....Q. So you d i d not know that you had a grievance u n t i l the r e f u s a l of Mr. Mathews to r e i n s t a t e the men? A. Yes, we knew we had a grievance. Q. I f he had taken back the men there would have been no s t r i k e ? A. Leaving a reasonable l e n g t h of time (f o r the company t o take back the miners). Q. Supposing Mr. Matthews had assented to your p r o p o s i t i o n , there would have been no s t r i k e ? A. Yes, no s t r i k e . Q. I t was upon h i s r e f u s a l t h a t the meeting (to discuss s t r i k e a c t i o n ) was * c a l l e d , I understand? A. Yes. Q. So tha t was to prove that your men were being d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t , and you took a c t i o n on that on May 2? A. Yes . °9 George Richards explained i n more d e t a i l why the telegram had no i n f l u e n c e whatever on the course of the s t r i k e a t Cumberland. The Commissioners 1 Report d i d not consider the evidence of these miners. The Cumberland s t r i k e d i d not h a l t c o a l production 69 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , pp.4£)9-1+i0. - 166 -i n the mines, John Mathews had t o l d James Dunsmuir that the mines could continue to operate without the white miners. One out of two s h i f t s produced enough coal to make mining p r o f i t a b l e and with an adequate supply of Chinese and Japanese labour the mines continued to operate. The employment of increasing numbers of Chinese miners shortly became of serious concern to the Inspector of Mines as safety conditions began to deteriorate. The Cumberland s t r i k e occurred for reasons that p r i m a r i l y l a y within, not outside, the c o a l f i e l d , James Dunsmuir t o l d the Commissioners that he believed that unions were i n t o l e r a b l e because they would i n t e r f e r e with the operation of his mines. As i n the past he gave orders i n A p r i l 1903 for the leaders of the new union to be dismissed. The s t r i k e was a protest against the dismissals. For the f i r s t time since 1890 Dunsmuir's miners had the support of a large and f i n a n c i a l l y wealthy union. The Dunsmuir miners believed at the beginning of the 1903 s t r i k e that the Western Federation would support them with funds during a long s t r i k e ; that the combined forces of the i s l a n d miners and the international Federation would bring James Dunsmuir around to the view that unions i n his mines were preferable to the greatly reduced business that a long s t r i k e e n tailed. Although James Baker and the Federation did not conspire to bring on s t r i k e s i n the Dunsmuir mines, the e f f e c t was the same: the i s l a n d miners used the Federation to f i g h t James Dunsmuir and strikes resulted. CHAPTER VI The Royal Commission Hearings at Extension and Cumberland and the Termination of the Strikes The f e d e r a l Minister of Labour, S i r William Mulock, t o l d S i r W i l f r i d Laurier on A p r i l 5 , 1903 that the Royal Commission on In d u s t r i a l Disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia should "educate" Canadian workmen to the harm they did themselves when they came under the control of American unions. 1 Unaware of the r e a l purpose of the Commission, Vancouver Island miners expected that the Commissioners would conduct an impartial inquiry Into the causes of the mine s t r i k e s . The strikes continued during the period of the Commission's hearings from May h to May 3 0 . During th i s period i s l a n d miners became increasingly d i s i l l u s i o n e d with the obvious bias of ^ the Commissioners i n favour of Wellington C o l l i e r i e s . Mien the Commissioners early i n the hearings adopted the view of James Dunsmuir's counsellor, E.V. Bodwell, that Nanaimo miners had conspired with leaders of the Western Federation to cause * str i k e s on the i s l a n d , the Dunsmuir miners perceived that th e i r case for union recognition was l o s t . 1 S i r William Mulock to S i r W i l f r i d Laurier, A p r i l h, 1 9 0 3 , Laurier Papers. Microfilm. Reel 328A. 44692-78022A. Letters Relating to B r i t i s h Columbia, PABC. - 167 -- 168 -On May,5 when the Royal Commissioners began hearings i n Ladysmith, MrJ Justice Hunter almost immediately demon-strated his lack of i m p a r t i a l i t y . He announced that the Commissioners had no power during the hearings to make an award or judgment of "any kind" as to the justness of the 2 c o n f l i c t i n g cases of the disputants. But he seemed to contradict himself when he recommended that the men return to work u n t i l the f e d e r a l government had an opportunity to act upon the Commissioners' conclusions with regard to the r i g h t of the miners to a f f i l i a t e with the Western Federa-t i o n . In the meantime he suggested that the miners abandon t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n with the Federation u n t i l the government had l e g i s l a t e d on the question of Canadian l o c a l s a f f i l i a t i n g with i n t e r n a t i o n a l unions. The f i r s t reaction to Chief Justice Hunter's advice to the miners came from Charles K. Wilson, counsel f o r the Extension miners. Heosaid that Chief Justice Hunter was i n e f f e c t asking the miners to assume the onus of g u i l t i n 3 the s t r i k e . Mr. Milson argued that the dispute was a lock-out because the company had f i r s t altered the conditions of employment when James Dunsmuir ordered the dismissal of union miners. E.V. Bodwell r e p l i e d to Mr. Wilson's argument and made a somewhat ambiguous statement to the e f f e c t that 2 Minutes of Evidence, op.cit., p.2. 3 I b i d . . pp.5-6. - 169 -James Dunsmuir: has given no instructions whatever to refuse to recognize a union among his o\-m men, but his objection i s that the men who work i n his mines should a f f i l i a t e themselves with an organization n whose headquarters and c o n s t i t u t i o n are a c t u a l l y <. / out of the j u r i s d i c t i o n of this country. 4" E.V. Bodwell appeared to say that Dunsmuir might be prepared to permit a l o c a l union i n his mines as long as the union was not a f f i l i a t e d with an in t e r n a t i o n a l organization. The hearing then adjourned for the day i n order that the miners might have an opportunity to consider Chief Justice Hunter's recommendation that the miners give up t h e i r a f f i l i a t i o n and return to work. The miners met the same evening. E.V. Bodwell's ambiguous statement that Dunsmuir had "given no in s t r u c t i o n s " to refuse to recognize a l o c a l union, temporarily s p l i t the union into a majority who wanted to continue the a f f i l i a t i o n with the Federation and a minority who were ready to form a * l o c a l union. The miners voted 216 to 4-9 to remain i n the Federation and to continue the s t r i k e . Dunsmuir's attitude to l o c a l and regional unions i n the past had an important bearing on the miners' decision to r e j e c t Chief Justice Hunter's advice to return to work. In a written reply to the Commissioners the miners s a i d : h Minutes of Evidence, op.ci t . , p.5. - 170 -•••past experience has taught us beyond the shadow of a doubt that i f we at t h i s time comply with the suggestions of His Lordship and the Commission, we f e e l we would be at the mercy of our employer§ and that to abandon our a f f i l i a t i o n with the Western Federation of Miners would be to y lose i t s sympathy and active support, and thereby ' destroy a l l unity among the workers. That without the support of a union or organization i n sympathy with i t , men would now, as i n the past, be d i s -charged or i n some manner,forced to quit work. That no men would dare to move i n the d i r e c t i o n of organization for fear of discharge; therefore t h i s union respectively declines to abandon i t s a f f i l i a t i o n with the W.F.M.5 Mr. Justice Hunter said he "regretted" the miners' decision. He thought "the men's stand (was) l i k e l y to prejudice t h e i r case i n the minds of the public" because of the economic e f f e c t which the s t r i k e was having on the region. I f the newspapers on the i s l a n d were an i n d i c a t i o n of public opinion, then Chief Justice Hunter's concern was without much founda-t i o n . The only newspaper which c r i t i c i z e d the miners for i s t r i k i n g was the V i c t o r i a Daily Colonist? and James Dunsmuir 8 owned half the stock of the paper. The miners were reportedly "suspicious and r e s e n t f u l " of the Commissioners. The miners were asked to give up the union u n t i l the f e d e r a l government x had made a decision but Wellington C o l l i e r i e s did not have to recognize the union i f the government l e g i s l a t e d i n favour 5 Minutes of Evidence, op.cit., p,5» 6 I b i d. , p.7 . 7 V i c t o r i a Daily Colonist, March 1 5 , 1 9 0 3 ,p.8 ; Colonist. A p r i l 7 , 1 9 0 3 , p.7. 8 Dunsmuir F i l e s . PABC. - 171 -of the miners. The miners learned a second time during the hearings that the Commissioners were eager to c o n c i l i a t e Dunsmuir v but were unwilling to impress on him that the miners had v a l i d reasons for demanding union recognition. Dunsmuir went to Ladysmith and gave evidence before the Commission. During the proceedings, a delegation of three miners presented a written statement to the Commissioners i n which the miners expressed t h e i r willingness to meet with Dunsmuir. The statement included the condition that although the miners were not " o f f i c i a l l y representing any union," they wanted i t understood "that we, i n doing so, are not foregoing any r i g h t s that we have, or ought to have, i n connection with organized labour.""^ Dunsmuir said he would not t a l k with < the miners u n t i l the condition was removed. He said he refused to deal with the union or any of the executive. In an e f f o r t to get negotiations started E.V. Bodwell and Chief Justice Hunter suggested that the miners withdraw the condition. Aaron Barnes, the spokesman for the miners, agreed to take t h i s proposal back to the union. When the miners met the same day to consider the proposal, they rejected i t . The Daily Herald reported that the miners were angry at t h i s second attempt by the Commissioners to have them return to work on James Dunsmuir's terms. 1 1 9 Nanaimo Daily Herald. May 6,19X»3,p.2. See also statements by Aaron Barnes, president of the Extension union, i n Minutes  of Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.369. 10 Minutes of Evidence, op.c i t . p.2 k6. 11 Daily Herald. May 20, 1903, p.2. - 172 James Dunsmuir explained the reasons behind his labour p o l i c y when he was examined by counsel for the miners. Dunsmuir argued that miners did not have any cause to demand K union recognition i n his mines. No amount of persuasion or argument would change his point of view. His deep attach-ment to his property rights was reminiscent of his father, Robert Dunsmuir. Q. Holding these views-an i r r e c o n c i l a b l e d i s b e l i e f i n organized labour, you refuse, as I understand i t , to have any man i n your employment who i s i n any way connected with a union-you have heretofore? A. No, we have never done that. We have, of course, refused to have an organization or union around the works, but we have never refused to take men on, whether union or not. We don't ask him. Q. Have you not, when you became aware of a man belonging to the union, got r i d of him? A. You mean f i r e d the heads of the union? Q. Yes? A. Every time. Q. And you have done that i n pursuance of a s e t t l e d p o l i c y of antagonism to organization? A. Yes, around the works. Q. You recognize, surely, the r i g h t of the workmen to organize? A. Of course, that i s th e i r own r i g h t . They can organize and belong to whatever union they l i k e . Q. Just on the same p r i n c i p l e that you consider you have an absolute r i g h t to handle your own property? A. Yes, I think that i s my;right; they have t h e i r r i g h t s . Q. You hold that you have an absolute r i g h t to deal with your own property? A. Just as I l i k e . Q. Did i t ever occur to you that wealth c a r r i e d some corresponding obligations with i t - t h e possession of large riches and lands? A. No s i r . From my standpoint i t doesn't. Q. You carry your opinion as f a r as t h i s : you say you can shut up your mines just as you please, no matter to whom i t brought r u i n or loss? A, No. they didn't need to go to work, just i n the same way that I did not need to open up the mines. Q. The store-keeper might go broke, the inhabitants of c i t i e s suffer from want of f u e l , general suffering might a r i s e - a l l these things might happen, and you would s t i l l think you were ri g h t ? A. Yes, I would s t i l l think I am r i g h t . ^ Those are my r i g h t s . Then" the men don't need to work, unless they l i k e , those are t h e i r rights.^- 2 12 Minutes of Evidence, p p . c i t . pp .380-38l. - 173 -The Commissioners supported Dunsmuir's defense of his property rig h t s and concluded that the miners i n t h i s case y/ did not have any property r i g h t s over the conditions under 13 which they were employed. J The Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia l a t e r i n the year even upheld Dunsmuir 1s legal r i g h t to employ Chinese workers underground i n defiance o f the Coal Mines Regulations Act as amended i n 1 9 0 3 . The decision seems to epitomize the degree to which Dunsmuir*s property r i g h t s took precedence over labour's demand fo r some voice i n determining conditions of work i n the mines. The miners' decision to return to work on July 2 at a 5% reduction i n wages was neither a unanimous nor a popular one. Of the 800 o r i g i n a l union miners 285 voted 15 168 to 117 to return to work on the company's terms. J The Cumberland News reported that the miners f e l t compelled to end the s t r i k e because the company started to employ a few 16 y Chinese labourers around the mines near the end of June. As Chinese labourers had never been employed at Extension i n the past, the miners had good reason to fear that i f 13 Report, o p . c i t . , p.6 8 . 14 "Report of Proceedings i n Attorney-General v. Wellington C o l l i e r i e s Re V i o l a t i o n of Coal Mines Regulations Act, Section 8 2 , Rule 3 4 , " Pamphlet, PABC, i L S J 0 3 . , r . 5 3 pages. The pamphlet was published by the Conservative Association of Rossland and was issued to prove to workingmen i n B r i t i s h Columbia that the Conservative Party was sympa-thetic to the concerns of workingmen. 15 Daily Herald, July 2 , 1 9 0 3 , p . l . See Appendix,PP. 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 . for the agreement. 16 News, July 3 , 1 9 0 3 , p.8 174 they did not return to work their jobs might be i n jeopardy. If James Dunsmuir had used the Chinese to f r i g h t e n the miners back to work, his t a c t i c was an e f f e c t i v e one, Dunsmuir promised that he would not discriminate against union o f f i c e r s i f the miners entered in t o contracts on an i n d i v i d u a l basis. He had t o l d the Commis^oners and Counsel for the miners that he did not care whether or not a miner belonged to a union as long as the union did not ^ attempt to force a c o l l e c t i v e contract on the company.^ The miners returned to work with the understanding that they could remain i n the union. However, the company refused to re-employ union o f f i c e r s at Extension and by October the ^ miners had no al t e r n a t i v e but to abandon their a f f i l i a t i o n with the Federation i f they were going to l e t their o f f i c e r s f i n d work i n the mines. 1 8 The disillusionment that Extension miners f e l t concerning the p a r t i a l i t y of the Royal Commissioners and the value of James Dunsmuir's word was experienced at Cumberland as w e l l . The Commissioners mediated during the f i r s t negotia-tions on May 30 between the company and the Cumberland miners. The Commissioners t r i e d to induce George Richards, the miners 1 secretary, to agree to the company's terms and return to work. At the beginning of the s t r i k e the company offered 17 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . p.3 8 0 . 18 Labour Gazette, v o l . 4 1 9 0 3 , p.3 2 0 . 19 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . ? p.5 0 3 . - 175 -work to any union or non-union miner on an i n d i v i d u a l basis.>^ The company f i r m l y rejected the idea of entering into a c o l l e c t i v e contract with the miners. Although the company was prepared to pay the regular contract price at Cumberland of $,75 per 2500 pounds of coal and promised not to d i s -criminate against union miners who returned to work, no union miner broke the s t r i k e . Chief Justice Hunter argued that the miners had absolutely no j u s t i f i c a t i o n for continuing 20 the s t r i k e . Chief Justice Hunter r e i t e r a t e d E.V. Bodwell's argument that James Baker had i n e f f e c t caused the s t r i k e and had induced the miners to s t r i k e i n sympathy with Extension miners and the C.P.R. employees i n Vancouver. The miners had a r i g h t to form a union, said the Chief J u s t i c e , i f they had grievances of th e i r own; but even i n a case where they had grievances and formed a union, the miners did 21 not have to r i g h t "to force a union contract." On May 3 0 the miners voted on the Commissioners' recommendation that the miners return to work on the company's terms. Less than half the o r i g i n a l 275 s t r i k e r s voted 130 to 3 to continue P2 the s t r i k e for union recognition. Mines Inspector Thomas Morgan went to Cumberland i n early June and reported that because of the employment of so 20 Minutes of Evidence, op.ci t . , p .503» 21 L o c . c i t . 22 Nanaimo.Free Press. May 3 0 , 1 9 0 3 , p.2 . - 176 -many u n s k i l l e d Chinese workmen many safety precautions were ignored i n the mines. 2 3 Acting through the Attorney-General 1s o f f i c e , Inspector Morgan l a i d a charge against F.D. L i t t l e , general manager of the Company's operations at Cumberland. On July 24- i n magistrates court i n Cumberland, D.M. Rogers, s o l i c i t o r f o r the Crown, proved that the company had v i o l a t e d 24-"Rule 3 k of the Mines Act. The Court f i n e d F.D. L i t t l e $25.00 and costs. Mr. Cassidy, s o l i c i t o r for the company, informed the court the company would appeal the decision. At one point i n the t r i a l Cassidy used the courtroom as a platform from which to lecture the miners. He turned to the spectator's g a l l e r y and to l d the miners present that the company intended to give the Chinese "every opportunity to earn a l i v i n g " despite the miners' attempts to have the Chinese removed from the mines. He advised the miners to end th e i r s t r i k e and dissociate themselves from the " a l i e n agitators who had kept up the h o s t i l e f e e l i n g against the 25 Chinese." As the Western Federation had advised i t s l o c a l s to organize the Chinese, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how Cassidy's condemnation applied to the Federation. Cassidy's remarks were discussed at a miners' meeting the same evening. The miners voted unanimously not to return to work u n t i l 26 t h e i r demand for union recognition was met. 23 Daily Herald, June 7, 1903, p . l . 24- Free Press. July 24-, p.2. 25 L o c . c i t . 26 Free Press, July 25, p . l . - 177 -S o l i c i t o r D.M. Rogers' report to the ^Attorney-General contained evidence that Cumberland miners were a f r a i d to give evidence against the company at the t r i a l held on July 24. Mr. Rogers sai d at the end of his l e g a l report: I may add that, on consultation with miners now on s t r i k e , who undoubtedly are the chief objectors to employment of Chinese underground, I pointed out the a d v i s a b i l i t y of strengthening the hands of the Crown by evidence of white miners, to show that the Chinese, as a c l a s s , whether educated i n English and mining or not, are an element of danger to fellow-workmen i n mines, and the Secretary of the Miners' Union undertook to produce plenty of witnesses to that e f f e c t . Shortly before the hearing, the Secretary c a l l e d upon me and stated that he had worked continuously since the previous day to procure such evidence, but, although the s t r i k i n g miners were most eager to see a conviction obtained, they one and a l l absolutely refused to appear or t e s t i f y . 2 ' The miners obviously feared that i f they t e s t i f i e d against F.D. L i t t l e the company might r e t a l i a t e when the s t r i k e was over by refusing to re-hire those who gave damaging evidence. The miners' actions were consistent with Reverend Hall's statement that i n the past miners on coroners' j u r i e s had been intimidated by company managers and foremen at Cumberland during hearings i n which the company's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r p O accidents was i n question. 27 Attorney-General, C or r e s p ondenc e, Letters Inward, R o l l No.4, F i l e No.3^00/033999/03, PABC. 28 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . f p.495. - 178 -Safety conditions at Cumberland caused some dissension within the management of Wellington C o l l i e r i e s . In July three company managers from the closed mines at ^ Extension l e f t Cumberland and refused to return. According to the Free Press. Alexander Bryden, Dave Wilson and John Johns l e f t Cumberland and returned to Extension where the company t o l d them that either they returned to Cumberland 29 or they would have to resign. As the incident occurred twelve days a f t e r one hundred Chinese miners received v mining c e r t i f i c a t e s i n Cumberland, the managers had probably l e f t i n protest against the employment of many new 30 k inexperienced miners. Faced with the treat of dismissal the managers returned to Cumberland. Mines Inspector Morgan was d i s s a t i s f i e d with the r e s u l t s of F.D. L i t t l e ' s t r i a l . When the company did not remove Chinese miners from underground works as the law required, Inspector Morgan requested the Attorney-General to seek an injunction to r e s t r a i n Wellington C o l l i e r i e s from employing Chinese and Japanese i n the mines. In an a f f i d a v i t sworn by the Inspector, he reviewed the occasions from 1879 to 1903 when Chinese had been held responsible for mine accidents.-^ 1 On September 15 i n B.C. Supreme Court, 29 Free Press. June 2 9 , p.2 . 30 Free Press, June 17, p.6. 31 "Report of Proceedings i n Attorney-General W/ellington C o l l i e r i e s , " op.cit., p . l . - 179 -the Attorney-General, A.E. M c P h i l l i p s , gave h i s reasons to Mr. J u s t i c e I r v i n g as to why the court should grant the Crown i t s request f o r an i n j u n c t i o n against W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s . The Attorney-General f i r s t p ointed out t h a t the company had continued to v i o l a t e a p r o v i n c i a l law. Secondly, he argued that miners had a " r i g h t to labour" and v t h i s r i g h t i m p l i e d that they had property r i g h t s over the ^ c o n d i t i o n s under which they laboured. On the question of the company's v i o l a t i o n of the law Mr. M c P h i l l i p s s a i d : the power i s inherent i n the court to compel a company to d e s i s t from doing that which i s i l l e g a l under the laws of the province, because these mines can only be operated under these laws; they are subject to i n s p e c t i o n ; to a l l these r e g u l a t i o n s , and they must l i v e w i t h i n them. I f such i s not the case, then the l e g i s -l a t u r e i s powerless to govern and to guard the i n t e r e s t s of the p u b l i c i n the c a r r y i n g out of what i s a f t e r a l l a very l a r g e and important i n d u s t r y i n t h i s province.32 Ch i e f J u s t i c e I r v i n e denied the v a l i d i t y of M c P h i l l i p s ' arguments. He s a i d the p u b l i c was not a f f e c t e d by the ^ employment of Chinese i n the mines even though the Chinese may have c o n s t i t u t e d a s a f e t y hazard. He s a i d "as long as your a f f i d a v i t i s confined to the question of employing Chinese below, the p u b l i c are not a f f e c t e d " and "the r i g h t s of the p u b l i c are not i n t e r f e r e d with . t t 3 3 j j e s a i < i there 32 "Report of Proceedings i n Attorney-General W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s , ' 5 1 o p . c i t . t p . 2 . 33 L o c . c i t . - 180 -were numerous cases i n which the court refused to grant i n j u n c t i o n s a g a i n s t c o l l i e r y companies i n cases i n which the reasons given f o r the i n j u n c t i o n s were s i m i l a r t o those mentioned by the Attorney-fGeneral. The Crown d i d not have the r i g h t i n the present case, s a i d C h i e f J u s t i c e I r v i n e , to i n t e r f e r e i n the p r i v a t e business a f f a i r s of We l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r i e s . On August 4 the company o f f e r e d a new c o n t r a c t which i n c l u d e d one of the miners' demands. Manager John Mathews s a i d he would not recognize the Western Federation or a l o c a l union but he assured miners they c o u l d r e t u r n to work without f e a r of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n against union 34 o f f i c e r s . Mathews o f f e r e d the same wage as p a i d before the s t r i k e began. He conceded one of the miners demands that i f a miner had a dispute over the p r i c e t o be p a i d f o r digging a place i n which there was much rock or d i r t , t h e miner would be p a i d $ 3 . 0 0 per day. I n a d d i t i o n John Mathews promised t o r e c e i v e at any time a d e l e g a t i o n who represented the miners provided the d e l e g a t i o n d i d not c a l l themselves a union. On August 7 the miners voted to r e j e c t the company's * o f f e r . The reason given by the miners f o r r e j e c t i n g the o f f e r was t h e i r s u s p i c i o n t h a t the company would not honour y 35 i t s promise not t o d i s c r i m i n a t e against union o f f i c e r s . 34 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . T p.4 8 5 . 3 5 D a i l y H e r a l d . August 7 , p . 2 . - 181 -Although no report confirmed i t , i t was possible that Cumberland miners heard that union o f f i c e r s at Extension had not been re-hired since the s t r i k e ended on July 2 . The Cumberland union had greatly declined i n numbers i n the months since May 2 when 275 miners struck ^ work. Only ninety-six voted on August 7 . On August 22 eighty-eight miners voted 48 to 40 to return to work on the company's terms. The miners conceded that their:'.inability to win the s t r i k e against the company forced them to return to work even though the miners were suspicious of the company's promise not to discriminate against union o f f l e e r s . 3 ° On September 12 George Richards sent the union's charter of a f f i l i a t i o n back to Denver; the company did not re-employ v union o f f i c e r s i n August and the union had no alt e r n a t i v e but to disband. 37 In a rare moment of insight during the hearings, Reverend E.S. Rowe observed that while the union mines at Nanaimo were operating, the non-union mines at Wellington^ C o l l i e r i e s were closed. The Commissioners understood that there had been a long history of i n d u s t r i a l peace at Nanaimo before and during the time a miners' union was o f f i c i a l l y rcognized i n 1891• The Commissioners reported that "a reasonable and c o n c i l i a t o r y attitude" pervaded r e l a t i o n s 36 Daily Herald. August 22, p. 1. 37 Daily Herald. September 12, p. 2. - 182 -between the Nanaimo company and the union leaders.^But * James Dunsmuir would never have dealt with the Nanaimo union leaders no matter how reasonable or responsible they wanted to be. The leaders included T u l l y Boyce, Ralph Smith and Thomas Shenton and Parker Williams, men whom Dunsmuir would have proscribed from his mines. Thus i t was not to the c r e d i t of the Royal Commissioners that they f a i l e d to uncover the r e a l reasons behind the s t r i k e s i n 1903• Had they endeavoured to see beneath the surface events and coincidences that surrounded the strikes at Extension and Cumberland, the Commissioners would have concluded i n much the same words as the p r o v i n c i a l mines commission had i n 1891s the s t r i k e s resulted from "the r e f u s a l of the mine- *< 39 owner to recognize or treat with the union." 38 Report, o p . c i t . , p.65-66* 39 "Select Committee to Inquire into the Wellington S t r i k e , o p . c i t . T 1891, P.2H-1. CHAPTER VII Conclusion The Recommendations and Conclusions of the Report of the Royal Commission The Royal Commissioners who investigated i n d u s t r i a l c o n f l i c t i n the mining and transportation industries of B r i t i s h Columbia reacted strongly to the evidence they uncovered.^" Many of the Commissioners' recommendations and conclusions r e f l e c t t h e i r strong reactions to the harsh r e a l i t i e s of l i f e and work i n the primary, economically * unstable industries of the province. The Commissioners heard testimony concerning the f i g h t - which sometimes erupted into violence - of miners and dock-workers against s t r i k e breakers imported from the United States by Canadian corporations. The i n d u s t r i a l i s t James Dunsmuir t o l d the Commissioners how he shut down his mines and uprooted communities because * his miners disobeyed his orders not to form unions. In th i s i n d u s t r i a l society on the f r o n t i e r of North America where material i n s e c u r i t y was p a r t i c u l a r l y marked among i n d u s t r i a l workers, the Commissioners believed they uncovered 1 See Appendix, Excerpts from the Conclusions of the Report, PP. 224-241. - 183 -- 184 -a s o c i a l i s t conspiracy organized by the American Western x Federation of Miners and the United Brotherhood of Railway Employees. These unions had organized thousands of i n d u s t r i a l workers who responded e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y to m i l i t a n t leadership. For these reasons the Commissioners proposed l e g i s l a t i v e changes to r e s t r i c t the a c t i v i t i e s of a l l American unions 2 i n Canada. As the Commissioners concluded that the r i s i n g incidence of i n d u s t r i a l c o n f l i c t i n B r i t i s h Columbia was ^ 3 due to labour's new radicalism, they recommended new laws to control the amount of free c o l l e c t i v e bargaining permitted i n Canada. The Commissioners did observe that "wise l e g i s l a t i o n " 4 alone could not solve "the labour problem". Much depended, they said, on the wil l i n g n e s s of large employers to treat workmen not as "submissive and unquestioning units of labour" but as human beings who have some r i g h t to expect reasonable labour p o l i c i e s . In the only part of the Report i n which labour's demands received a sympathetic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n the Commissioners stated: And here i t may not be amiss to warn employers of labour that the old r e l a t i o n of master and servant no longer obtains, that i t has been supplanted by that of employer and workingman, ^ with the p r o b a b i l i t y that i t w i l l develop i n the near future into that of co-contractors. 2 See Appendix, p.224-241. 3 See Appendix, pp.229, -227. 4 Report, p. 77. - 185 -There i s no doubt that a considerable percent-age of s t r i k e s are caused, not so much by the r e f u s a l of the employer to y i e l d to the p a r t i c -u l a r demand, as by the way i n which i t i s done, or by a long course of a r b i t r a r y conduct. One of the r e s u l t s of the spread of unionism throughout the v a r i o u s trades has been t o put the workman i n a be t t e r p o s i t i o n to make terms w i t h h i s employer; to preserve h i s independence of c h a r a c t e r ; he i s now able to d r i v e a bargain and does not have to accept a dole....The work-men of modern times demands as h i s due a f a i r day's pay f o r a f a i r day's work, and t h a t he s h a l l get a reasonable share of the product of h i s t o i l ; what he seeks i s honourable employment, not s l a v e r y ; he wants f a i r d e a l i n g and j u s t i c e , and not c h a r i t y or patronage.5 The warning was not however to be contrued as an ultimatum A from the Commissioners f o r employers to recognize a l l unions. The tone of these remarks was reversed when the Commissioners came to d i s c u s s s p e c i f i c l e g i s l a t i v e changes to c o n t r o l i n d u s t r i a l c o n f l i c t . While employers were advised by the Commissioners not to be " a r b i t r a r y , " " t y r a n n i c a l , " or "arrogant" w i t h K t h e i r employees, the Commissioners recommended t h a t c e r t a i n " r e prehensible" a c t i o n s of labour should be made i l l e g a l . I n j u s t i f i c a t i o n of proposed new r e s t r i c t i o n s on labour's economic freedoms, the Commissioners argued t h a t the general p u b l i c should not be inconvenienced because of a prolonged * dispute between c o a l and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n companies and t h e i r workmen. Thus sympathetic s t r i k e s such as a l l e g e d l y 5 Report, o p . c i t . . p.63. 6 L o c . c i t . - 186 -occurred i n the i s l a n d coal mines i n 1903 were to be made f i l l e g a l . Strikes for union recognition were not i l l e g a l , said the Report, but authorities were advised to watch c a r e f u l l y l e s t criminal or i l l e g a l methods such as boycotts of employers or intimidation of non-union workers were used by s t r i k e r s to win their demands. In thi s connection the Commissioners condemned but did not outlaw picketing. Other methods by which workmen t r i e d to support others on s t r i k e / were made i l l e g a l . The Commissioners wished to penalize ^ unions when they c i r c u l a t e d l i s t s of employers who dismissed union workers and replaced them with non-union workers and when they c i r c u l a t e d l i s t s of professional s t r i k e breakers or "scabs." The Commissioners argued that once these h o s t i l e actions of labour were outlawed then employers would not f i n d i t necessary to r e t a l i a t e by b l a c k l i s t i n g "workmen.; hThe Commissioners' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a l l these aggressive acts by labour did not take into consideration the f a c t that i n many cases, as i n the str i k e s under in v e s t i g a t i o n , workmen were trying to gain some measure of economic security from ^ the i r struggle with anti-union employers. With most of labour's weapons taken away, the struggle for c o l l e c t i v e 7 bargaining would have been much more d i f f i c u l t than i t was. 7 The Commissioners were quite inconsistent i n t h i s respect. While they stated that a "workman..shall get a reasonable share of the product of his t o i l , " and a " f a i r day's pay" (p.63)» they then said i n ef f e c t that the miners were not to have the power to negotiate for or s t r i k e f or thi s share or pay. - 187 -Another of the c o n t r o v e r s i a l recommendations made by the Commissioners concerned i n c o r p o r a t i o n of unions. The Commissioners argued that " l e g i t i m a t e trade unionism" should be "encouraged and pr o t e c t e d " but unions such as the Western Fed e r a t i o n of Miners and t h e United Brotherhood of Railway Employees should be made i l l e g a l because the l a t t e r unions 8 a had conspired to bring on sympathetic s t r i k e s on the i s l a n d . Incorporated unions would be accorded p r o t e c t i o n to the extent t h a t employers would be p e n a l i z e d i f they d i s c r i m i n a t e d against union members. The Commissioners s t a t e d that "the ma j o r i t y of the i n t e l l i g e n t and reasonable leaders i n labour c i r c l e s " approved of the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of unions. But i t i s d i f f i c u l t to understand why the Commissioners assumed t h i s . Of nine "leaders i n labour c i r c l e s " questioned by the Commis-sioners concerning the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of unions, one supported i n c o r p o r a t i o n , s i x questioned or opposed i t , and one noted that i t was to the advantage of employers to be able to take a union to court f o r a breach of c o n t r a c t . C h r i s Foley, a labour l e a d e r , assumed th a t i f unions were i n c o r p o r a t e d , com-panies would be compelled to recognize the union i n question as 9 the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the employees. But the Commissioners d i d 8 See Appendix, p.229. 9 See Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . , p.678. There were a number of cases where the Commissioners m i s i n t e r p r e t e d the i n t e n t i o n of witnesses' statements. One witness s a i d that the e f f e c t of the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of unions would be to d i s -courage the p r a c t i c e of boycotting employers. The Commis-sioners reported t h a t the witness s a i d i n c o r p o r a t i o n of unions would be a good idea because i t would discourage the p r a c t i c e of boycotts. Minutes of Evidence, p.207, Appendix p. 232. - 188 -not b e l i e v e that workmen had the r i g h t to impose a c l o s e d shop on an employer. As the Report acknowledged, "objections were r a i s e d " against i n c o r p o r a t i n g unions. Witnesses t o l d the Commissioners that once unions were incorporated wealthy companies could more e a s i l y bankrupt them by f o r c i n g them i n t o c o s t l y court cases. For example, the B r i t i s h America Corporation of Rossland assessed the Western Federation of Miners $ 1 2 , 5 0 0 i n damages a r i s i n g from the 1901 s t r i k e . The case was not concluded u n t i l 1 9 0 5 . T o p r o t e c t unions from such c o s t l y l i t i g a t i o n the Commissioners suggested that i f a union won a court case, a company could only appeal the d e c i s i o n i f the p r e s i d i n g judge approved the appeal. This p r o v i s o d i d not seem t o promise much s e c u r i t y against expensive l i t i g a t i o n f o r unions. C r i t i c s of the Report, Ferns and Ostry, have concluded that the l e g a l r e s t r i c t i o n s on f r e e c o l l e c t i v e bargaining advocated by the Commissioners would have n e a r l y A 11 destroyed the Canadian labour movement. Mackenzie King and the Commissioners were convinced t h a t "the rash r a d i c a l i s m " of B r i t i s h Columbia labour had to be brought under more l e g i s -l a t i v e c o n t r o l i f there was to be l e s s i n d u s t r i a l c o n f l i c t . 1 2 10 For a d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s case see P h i l l i p s , Paul,op.cit.,pp.3 3 11 Ferns H.S., and Ostry B., o p . c i t . , p.6 3 . 12 King wrote i n 1906 that "the rash r a d i c a l i s m " of B r i t i s h Columbia workmen needed "the curb." E a s t e r n workmen, he s a i d , were too i n d i f f e r e n t to labour problems. The Secret  of Heroism (Toronto, 1 9 0 6 ) , pp.158-159. C i t e d i n Ferns and Ostry, o p . c i t . , p.5 8 . - 189 -King's contribution to the Report was i n proposing new c o n c i l i a t i o n and a r b i t r a t i o n machinery which would compel labour and c a p i t a l to resolve t h e i r differences before long s t r i k e s occurred. King advocated that a s t r i k e or lock-out should not be permissible u n t i l one side i n the dispute had given t h i r t y days notice to the Registrar of the Supreme Court of the province. With the facts of the case reported to the Court and the Department of Labour t h i r t y days before the beginning of a threatened s t r i k e or lock-out, King hoped that one or both sides might respond to public pressure to resolve the dispute by c o n c i l i a t i o n . King recommended the use of compulsory a r b i t r a t i o n but he reserved i t for special cases i n which important public services such as water and l i g h t or transportation and communication were threatened with work stoppages. Compulsory a r b i t r a t i o n would also be used to keep major industries such as coal mining from being shut down for a long period. King wanted the Governor i n Council to have the authority to intervene and compel labour and c a p i t a l to s e t t l e t h e i r differences i n court. I f they could not agree, then an a r b i t r a t e d settlement would be 13 binding for one year. Undoubtedly the most controversial recommendation i n the Report was that Canadian l o c a l s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l A unions should not be able to consult with t h e i r executives 13 See Appendix pp.233-235 - 190 i n the United States over the question of whether they could I k s t r i k e or n o t . Most i n t e r n a t i o n a l unions required t h e i r l o c a l s to seek approval from the executive before they s t ruck. -The purpose of t h i s f o r m a l i t y was to give the executive an opportunity to judge whether they should provide s t r i k e funds . The Commissioners' recommendation that Canadians and Americans should not be able to consult during a s t r i k e i n Canada would have made i t v i r t u a l l y impossible f o r Canadians to rece ive s t r i k e funds from the i n t e r n a t i o n a l . The Commissioners had endeavoured i n the Report to appeal to the " r i g h t t h i n k i n g " , " i n t e l l i g e n t and reasonable" leaders of the Canadian labour movement. But when the moderate men of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada met i n convention i n September 1 9 0 3 , they denounced the Commissioners' recommendations and c o n c l u s i o n s ^ when the f e d e r a l government received the Congress' annual submission, i t learned the deep concern with which the labour movement viewed the Report . Had the government acted upon the recommendations i n the Report , i t would have l o s t the c o n s i d -erable support i t enjoyed among trade u n i o n i s t s . The government, therefore , chose not to act upon any of the L Report ' s recommendations. As the Canadian Manufacturers ' A s s o c i a t i o n had already demanded l e g i s l a t i o n to r e s t r i c t 14 See Appendix p . 2 3 7 . 1 5 Labour Gazette, v o l . IV, p . 3 2 5 . - 191 -the a c t i v i t i e s of American union organizers and o f f i c i a l s i n Canada, the Report must have presented a d i f f i c u l t dilemm f o r S i r W i l f r i d L a u r i e r . 1 6 The Congress a l s o attacked the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Commissioners that the o r g a n i z a t i o n of unions i n the i s l a n d mines was the cause of the s t r i k e s . Considering the f a c t that the committee d i d not have the record of the hearings, i t s a n a l y s i s of the Commissioners' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was p e r c e p t i v e . The ground that appears to be taken ( i n the Report) i s that the o r g a n i z a t i o n of a trade union i s the n a t u r a l cause of a s t r i k e , A overlooking the causes that make the trade unions an absolute necessity.1 7 The Congress saw behind the Commissioners' n a r r a t i v e of the events surrounding the a l l e g e d conspiracy t o the f a c t t h a t the miners had organized unions to s e t t l e grievances and *• disputes i n the mines. I n f a c t an a n a l y s i s of why miners formed unions i n 1903 and i n the previous decades shows th a t unions were formed as a r e s u l t of the miners' i n a b i l i t y to s e t t l e disputes and grievances over c o n d i t i o n s of work and wages. Since James Dunsmuir refused t o deal w i t h the miners union r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , s t r i k e s f r e q u e n t l y r e s u l t e d when Dunsmuir t r i e d to i n t i m i d a t e the miners by d i s m i s s i n g union 16 Labour Gazette o p . c i t . T p.337« 17 I b i d . , p. 325. - 192 -leaders. Even more than the Royal Commission hearings of 1885, I891 and 1901, those of 1903 reveal the deep sense of s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e f e l t by miners employed i n the Dunsmuir mines. The forced removal of miners who l i v e d at Extension v i l l a g e , the * miners' grievances over inadequate payment f o r digging d i r t and rock, the absence of a check-weighman, the demand for a 10 per cent wage increase after the company had gained the benefit of the rebate on coal imports entering San Francisco, and the i r r i t a t i n g presence of Chinese miners at Cumberland, 4 were the r e a l reasons for c o n f l i c t between the miners and Wellington C o l l i e r i e s . But behind these sources of c o n f l i c t lay the authoritarian p o l i c i e s of James Dunsmuir. To challenge, and i f possible weaken, the i n f l e x i b l e labour p o l i c i e s of James Dunsmuir and his managers, the miners i n 1903 c a l l e d i n the numerical and f i n a n c i a l power of the 50,000 coal and metaliferous miners of the Western Federation. A l l the leaders of the union movement i n Nanaimo, Extension and Cumberland-Thomas Senton, Parker Williams, Samuel Mottishaw, Aaron Barnes, George Richards and David Halliday and others-were either f i r s t generation Canadians or recent B r i t i s h immigrants. These miners stated that the p r i n c i p a l reason that they and other i s l a n d miners wished to j o i n the Western Federation was to gain the support of a strong union which would help them gain improvements i n wages and working conditions. When David Halliday t o l d the - 193 -Commissioners that the Federation's o f f i c i a l endorsation of the S o c i a l i s t Party of America made the union p a r t i c u l a r l y appealing to him, the Commissioners immediately leaped on t h i s admission as proof that the Federation and i t s supporters on the i s l a n d were mainly concerned w i t h spreading r e v o l u -18 t i o n a r y s o c i a l i s m . The Commissioners argued that since r e o l u t i o n a r y s o c i a l i s m was a t h r e a t t o the e x i s t i n g p r i v a t e / ownership of the c o a l and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n i n d u s t r i e s of the p r o v i n c e , the Western Federation should be made an i l l e g a l 1 9 o r g a n i z a t i o n i n Canada. Evidence from the hearings i n d i c a t e d t h a t the miners' r a d i c a l i s m was i n r e a l i t y a \protest ag a i n s t the c o n t i n u a t i o n of what the miners b e l i e v e d were low ' wages, dangerous and d i f f i c u l t working c o n d i t i o n s and author-i t a r i a n labour p o l i c i e s . Mackenzie King b e l i e v e d that disputes between employers such as James Dunsmuir and m i l i t a n t miners' unions such as the Western Federation would increase unless some remedial l e g i s l a t i o n was introduced. But King's recommendations were of l i t t l e value to the i s l a n d c o a l Industry because Dunsmuir was u n w i l l i n g t o make any concessions t o the miners' demand f o r a greater v o i c e i n the running of the mines. The Commissioners and King knew that the Vancouver Coal Company ^ at Nanaimo had had few s t r i k e s a f t e r Superintendent Robins 18 Minutes of Evidence, o p . c i t . . p.427. 19 See Appendix. p.230. - 194 -took over i n I883. One of the reasons f o r t h i s r e c o r d was t h a t Robins permitted miners the p r i v i l e g e of d i s c u s s i n g and r e s o l v i n g labour disputes through t h e i r p i t committees < and miners' union. Whereas the c o n t r a c t at W e l l i n g t o n 20 C o l l i e r i e s was l a i d down, the c o n t r a c t at Vancouver Coal <. 21 was n e g o t i a t e d . The Commissioners f a i l e d to recommend s p e c i f i c changes i n the methods of c o l l e c t i v e bargaining i n the Dunsmuir mines i n 1903; the Royal Commissioners who i n v e s t i g a t e d the 1912-1914 c o a l s t r i k e i n these same mines d i d recommend the need f o r negotiated c o n t r a c t s , miners' p i t y committees and freedom to j o i n unions i f i n d u s t r i a l d iscontent 22 i n the mining i n d u s t r y was to be reduced. 20 See Appendix, pp.222-223. Agreement of W e l l i n g t o n  C o l l i e r i e s w i t h i t s Employees, J u l y , 1903. 21 See Appendix, pp.220-221. Agreement of the Western F u e l  Company and the Nanaimo Miners' Union, February, 1903. 22 Report of the Royal Commission on Coal Mining Disputes on  Vancouver I s l a n d (Ottawa, 1913), pp.20-26,On the e x i s t -ence of other unresolved grievances, i n c l u d i n g o r i e n t a l l a b o u r , and the employment of check-weighmen, on the J c o a l f i e l d from 1903 t o 1914, see B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s -l a t i v e Assembly, "Royal Commission on Labour," S.P. 1914, pp. M 15-16. BIBLIOGRAPHY I MANUSCRIPT SOURCES A Correspondence Attorney-General. Correspondence. L e t t e r s Inward, R o l l No.4, F i l e No.34-00/033999/03, P u b l i c A r c h i v e s of B r i t i s h Columbia. Dunsmuir, James. L e t t e r to S i r Joseph T r u t c h . February, n.d., I 8 8 9 , Vancouver Sun. J u l y 2 2 , 1965, p . l . Dunsmuir, James. Business Papers. (Graham F o l d e r ) , P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. Dunsmuir, James. Premiers' Papers. June 1900 to December 1902, P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. H a l l , L.'iW. Correspondence. Ebenezer Robson C o l l e c t i o n , P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. L a u r i e r , W i l f r i d . Papers. Reel 3 2 8 A , 4 4 - 6 9 2 - 7 8 0 2 2 A , A p r i l k, 1903. P r i o r , Edward G. Premiers' Papers. January 1903 to June 1903, P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. Vancouver Trades and Labour C o u n c i l . Minutes. Held by the Vancouver Trades and Labour C o u n c i l , Mest Broadway S t r e e t , Vancouver, B.C. B Unpublished Theses Bescoby, I S O I B I M. "Some Aspects of the Mining Advance i n t o the Cariboo and the Kootenay." M.A. The s i s , Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 3 5 « C a i l , Robert E. "The D i s p o s a l of Crown Land i n B r i t i s h Columbia: 1 8 7 1 - 1 9 1 3 . " M.A. T h e s i s , Vancouver, Univers-i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. Church, John S. "Mining Companies i n the West Kootenay and Boundary Regions of B r i t i s h Columbia: 1 8 9 0 - 1 9 0 0 . " M.A. T h e s i s , Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 6 1 . - 195 -- 196 -Davis, I s a b e l l e F. " 4 9 t h P a r a l l e l C i t y : An Economic H i s t o r y of Ladysmith." Graduating Essay, Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 5 3 . Grantham, "Ronald. "Some Aspects of the S o c i a l i s t Movement i n B r i t i s h Columbia." MA. T h e s i s , Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. Loosemore, Thomas R. "The B r i t i s h Columbia Labor Movement and P o l i t i c a l A c t i o n : 1 8 7 9 - 1 9 0 6 . " M.A.Thesis, Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1954. Matheson, Marion H. "Some E f f e c t s of the Coal Mining Industry Upon the Development of the Nanaimo Area." M.A. T h e s i s , Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columb-i a , 1 9 5 0 . Silverman, Peter G. "A H i s t o r y of the M i l i t i a and Defenses of B r i t i s h Columbia." M.A.Thesis, Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 5 6 . Smith, B r i a n R.D. "A S o c i a l H i s t o r y of E a r l y Nanaimo." B.A. Honours T h e s i s , Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 5 6 . U n d e r h i l l , Frank H. "Labour L e g i s l a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia." D o c t o r a l T h e s i s , Berkeley, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , 1 9 3 5 . Wargo, A l l a n J . "The Great Coal S t r i k e : The Vancouver I s l a n d Coal M i n e r s 1 S t r i k e s 1 9 1 2 - 1 9 1 4 . " Graduating T h e s i s , Vancouver, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,1962. C Miscellaneous Manuscript M a t e r i a l s Buckam, A.F. "The Company O f f i c e . " T y p e s c r i p t H i s t o r y of the Company O f f i c e at Cumberland, 5 pp. P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. Dunsmuir, James. Miscellaneous F i l e s . P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. Woodside, Frank, Secretary of the "Rossland Miners' Union, Typewritten L e t t e r O r i g i n a l l y p u blished i n the Rossland Miner,' August 2 0 , 1 9 0 1 . Copy i n S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. Anonymous. " S i x t y Years of the M i n e - M i l l . " An unpublished c h r o n i c l e of the Western Federation of Miners and the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Union of Mine, M i l l and Smelter Workers, n.d., 58 pp. Copy i n S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. - 197 -Anonymous. "O r i g i n s of Labour Unions i n B r i t i s h Columbia." A c h r o n o l o g i c a l l i s t to about 1900, n.d., 10 pages. P u b l i c Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. PRINTED SOURCES Government P u b l i c a t i o n s The f o l l o w i n g were the main sources of evidence f o r the study of labour on the c o a l f i e l d s . B.C., L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. J o u r n a l s . V i c t o r i a Queen's (King's) P r i n t e r , 1871-1903. An e s s e n t i a l reference f o r l e g i s l a t i v e a c t i v i t y regarding the i n t r o d u c t i o n and passage of b i l l s r e l a t e d to c o a l mining and labour. B.C., L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. S e s s i o n a l Papers. V i c t o r i a , Queen's (King's) P r i n t e r , 1871-1914. "Correspondence February-May 1877 Re Miners' S t r i k e , " 1878, pp.528-532. " P e t i t i o n Regarding E x c l u s i o n of Chinese from Coal Mines." 1888, pp .404-405. "Miners' P e t i t i o n Against Withdrawal of the M i l i t i a . " 1890, p.312. " S e l e c t Committee to Inquire i n t o the Well i n g t o n S t r i k e . " 1891, pp.242-356. "Correspondence Re Sending M i l i t i a to Welli n g t o n . " 1891, pp.311-312. " P e t i t i o n Regarding Chinese and Japanese i n Coal Mines." 1892, pp.464-470. "Report of the S p e c i a l Commission t o Inq u i r e i n t o the Causes of Explosions i n Coal Mines."pp.J9-16. 1902. "Report of the Royal Commission on Labour." 1914, PP.M15-18. - 198 -"Reports of the M i n i s t e r of Mines." 1874-1903. A v a l u a b l e source concerning the development of mining on the c o a l f i e l d . Returns and Reports. Published Separately by Government order. Return of the l 4 t h of March, 1878, of a l l Correspond-ence, Orders i n C o u n c i l , and Other Documents, R e l a t i n g to the Miners' S t r i k e at Nanaimo, and t o the D i s p o s i -t i o n of a Body of Armed Volunteers of M i l i t i a to the D i s t r i c t of Nanaimo i n the Spring of I877. V i c t o r i a , Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 1878. Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigra- t i o n . Q t t a w a , Queen's P r i n t e r , 1885. Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and  Japanese Immigration. Ottawa, King's P r i n t e r , 1902. S e s s i o n a l Paper No.54. Royal Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n the  Province of B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1903. Ottawa, Govern-ment P r i n t i n g Bureau. Evidence of the Royal Commission on I n d u s t r i a l  Disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Ottawa, King's P r i n t e r , S e s s i o n a l Paper No.36a, 1903. Report of the Royal Commission on Coal Mining  Disputes on Vancouver I s l a n d . Ottawa, Government P r i n t i n g Bureau, 1913. Report of the Royal Commission Regarding Coal i n  B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, W.E.Cullin P r i n t e r . 1913 B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. S t a t u t e s . V i c t o r i a , Queen's (King's) P r i n t e r , I877-I903. A necessary source f o r r e f e r r i n g t o matters passed i n t o law. Canada, Government, Census of Canada, Ottawa, Queen's (King's) P r i n t e r , 1881-1901. Decennial r e p o r t s i n c l u d i n g the record of population changes and the r e c o r d of n a t i o n a l o r i g i n s . - 199 -Canada, Department of Labour, Labour Gazette, Ottawa, King's P r i n t e r , 1900-1903. A v a l u a b l e source on the economic and l e g a l aspects of labour i n t h i s p e r i o d . Canada, Parliament, House of Commons. O f f i c i a l  Record of Debates. Ottawa, King's P r i n t e r , 1903. See index to Debates f o r references t o Ralph Smith and S i r W i l l i a m Mulock. B General iWorks 1 Books a B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r y Audaine, James. Coal Mine to C a s t l e . New York,1950. A u s e f u l account of the Dunsmuir f a m i l y and businesses. Newspapers are the main source for the study. Bennett, W i l l i a m . B u i l d e r s of B r i t i s h Columbia. Van-couver, 1937* The f i r s t d e t a i l e d h i s t o r y of labour i n B r i t i s h Columbia. More i n t e r e s t i n g f o r i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n than as a f a c t u a l source s i n c e the p u b l i c a t i o n of No Power Greater i n 1967 by Paul P h i l l i p s . Howay, F.W., Sage, W.N., and Angus, H.F. B r i t i s h  Columbia and the United S t a t e s . Toronto, 194-2. Contains a u s e f u l chapter on the American mining advance i n t o southern B r i t i s h Columbia. Howay, F.W., and Scholefield,E.O.S. B r i t i s h Columbia. Vancouver, 1914-. 2 v o l s . Contains much valuable i n f o r m a t i o n on the economic background of the pr o v i n c e . - 200 -Ormsby, Margaret A. B r i t i s h Columbia: A H i s t o r y . Van-couver, 1958. Us e f u l as a source f o r the general s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l background of the growth of the province during the 19th Century. P h i l l i p s , P a u l . No Power Greater. Vancouver, 1967. A v a l u a b l e h i s t o r y of B r i t i s h Columbia labour. Contains a u s e f u l chapter on the theory of labour development. b E x t r a - P r o v i n c i a l Economic and S o c i a l H i s t o r y Anton, F.R. The Role of Government i n the iSettlement  of Labour Disputes i n Canada. Montreal, 1962. A va l u a b l e reference on the e f f e c t of court d e c i s i o n s and laws on the labour movement. Bradwin, Edwin. The Bunkhouse Man. New York, 1928. An i n t e r e s t i n g and r e v e a l i n g study of the l i f e and work of the r a i l w a y workers and lumbermen i n the years 1903-1914-. The men i n these e a r l y camps were s i m i l a r to miners i n t h e i r proneness to s t r i k e i n p r o t e s t against poor c o n d i t i o n s . Brissenden, P a u l . The I.W.W. New York, 1920. In t h i s study of the I n d u s t r i a l 'Workers of the World the w r i t e r explains the h i s t o r y of i n d u s t r i a l unions i n North America. The Western Fe d e r a t i o n of Miners was the l a r g e s t union to j o i n the I.W.W. Cole, G.D.H., and Postgate, R. The Common People. London, 1956. Contains u s e f u l background h i s t o r y on the B r i t i s h c o a l miners and the development of mining l e g i s l a -t i o n i n the United Kingdom. - 201 -Hansen, Marcus L., and Brebner, John B. The Mingling of the Canadian and American Peoples. New Haven, 1940, vol.1. A valuable reference on the question of the penetration of American mining labour and c a p i t a l into B r i t i s h Columbia i n the 19th and early 20th centuries. Innis, H.A. and Lower, A.R.M. Settlement and the Mining  and Forest F r o n t i e r s . Toronto, 1936. Professor Innis studied the development of the mining region of southern B r i t i s h Columbia. A useful reference. Jensen, Vernon H. Heritage of C o n f l i c t . New York,1950. An excellent study of the Western Federation i n the United States from the beginnings of the union to 1930. Kerr, Clark, Labor and Management i n I n d u s t r i a l Society. New" York, 1964. Contains a chapter on the most strike-prone industries i n North America i n the years 1919-19 k9. IDr.. Kerr analyses the reasons for strikes i n these industries of which mining was the most strike-prone. Logan, H.A. Trade Unions i n Canada. Toronto, 1948. A useful source on the growth of i n d u s t r i a l unions i n Canada. Logan's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the s t r i k e s i n which the Western Federation was involved i s questionable. Logan, H.A., Ware, N.J., and Innis, H.A. Labor in^ Canadian American Relations. Toronto, 1937* A valuable f a c t u a l reference on the development of i n d u s t r i a l unionism i n North America and the penetration of American unions into Canada. - 202 -U p t o n , C h a r l e s . The Trade Union Movement i n Canada: 1827-1959. Montreal, 1967. The most recent h i s t o r y of trade unions i n Canada. L i p t o n questioned the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the 1903 Report of the Royal Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes. Parker, C a r l e t o n . The Casual Laborer and Other Essays. New York, 1920. Western mining labour r e c e i v e s some a t t e n t i o n i n these essays. Parker r e v e a l s that migratory labour i n the Far West tended to p r o t e s t s o c i a l and economic i n j u s t i c e s through the means of the s t r i k e . P a u l , Rodman. Mining F r o n t i e r s of the Far West 1848-1880. New York, 196X Provides an i n t e r e s t i n g and s c h o l a r l y a n a l y s i s of labour i n the p e r i o d before organized unions became the r u l e i n mining camps. P e l l i n g , Henry. A H i s t o r y of B r i t i s h Trades Unionism. London, 1963. A u s e f u l reference on the changes which occurred i n the mining unions i n B r i t a i n before and a f t e r c o a l miners migrated to Vancouver I s l a n d . Perlman, Mark. Labour Union Theories i n America. New York, 1958. Perlman brings together the most i n f l u e n t i a l w r i t e r s on the h i s t o r y of labour unions i n North America. He analyzes the c o n t r i b u t i o n each w r i t e r made to the understanding of why labour adopted d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l p h i l o s o p h i e s and p r a c t i c e s . A v a l u a b l e r e f e r e n c e . Reynolds, L.G. The B r i t i s h Immigrant: His S o c i a l and  P o l i t i c a l Adjustment to Canada. Oxford, 1935. Of l i m i t e d use f o r B r i t i s h Columbia labour h i s t o r y . Reynolds' study deals mainly w i t h eastern Canada. B r i t i s h u n i o n i s t s , he found, c o n t r i b u t e d g r e a t l y to t h e formation of unions i n Canada. - 203 -Trimble, W.J. The Mining Advance i n t o the Inland  Empire. New York, 1914. The e a r l i e s t study of the phenomenon of American m i g r a t i o n i n t o southern B r i t i s h Columbia. L i t t l e d i s -cussion of unions. Ware. N.J. The Labor Movement i n the United States  1860-189^ New York, 1924^ Contains a good a n a l y s i s of the spread of the Knights of Labor westward i n the l 8 8 0 ' s . 2 A r t i c l e s Buckam. A.F. "The Nanaimo C o a l f i e l d of B.C." T r a n s a c t i o n s . Canadian I n s t i t u t e of Mining and Metalurgy, v o l . 5 0 , 1 9 4 7 , pp.4 6 0 - 4 7 2 . A u s e f u l reference on the question of the f a u l t e d c o n d i t i o n of the two p r i n c i p a l c o a l seams on the i s l a n d c o a l f i e l d . C u r r i e , A.W. "The Vancouver Coal Mining Company." Queen 1s  Qu a r t e r l y , (Spring 1 9 6 3 ) , v o l . 7 0 , p p . 5 0 - 6 3 . C u r r i e e x p l a i n s how d e c i s i o n s made i n the London boardrooms of the company i n f l u e n c e d i t s development on the i s l a n d . Some d i s c u s s i o n of labour problems and competition i n the c o a l business. Fox, P a u l . " E a r l y S o c i a l i s m i n Canada." i n J . H . A i t c h i s o n , ed., The P o l i t i c a l Process i n Canada. Toronto, 1963, pp.79-99. Fox emphasizes the r a d i c a l character of the metal miners but there i s l i t t l e reference to c o a l mining. Based on many tape i n t e r v i e w s w i t h o l d miners. Graham, Ch a r l e s . "The Problems of the Vancouver I s l a n d Coal Industry." T r a n s a c t i o n s . Canadian Institute of Mining and Metalurgy, v o l . 5 1 , 1948, pp.456-477. An i n v a l u a b l e explanation of the d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t miners and companies encountered i n t r y i n g to make c o a l mining pay good r e t u r n s . - 204 I n n i s , H.A. " L i q u i d i t y Preference as a Factor i n I n d u s t r i a l Development." i n Essays i n Canadian Econ-omic H i s t o r y . Toronto, 1956, pp.327-358. I n n i s discusses the i n f l u e n c e of the gold rushes of 1849 and 1858 on the coast on the demand f o r c o a l and lumber. Jamieson, S t u a r t . "Regional Factors i n I n d u s t r i a l C o n f l i c t . " The Case of B r i t i s h Columbia." Canadian  J o u r n a l of Economic and P o l i t i c a l Science (August, 1962), v o l . 2 8 , pp.405-416. Discusses the theory of labour a c t i o n i n the prov i n c e . Lamb, H.Mortimer. "The Coal Mining Industry of Van-couver I s l a n d . " B r i t i s h Columbia Mining Record (Feb-ruary-March, 1898), pp.1-26. The w r i t e r describes and explains i n v i v i d language one day i n the l i f e and work of Nanaimo c o a l miners. He entered the sha f t i n the morning and surveyed one of the mines. McKelvie, B.A. "The Founding of Nanaimo." B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y (November, 19447,vol.8 pp.169-188. A u s e f u l reference f o r the e a r l y pre-union p e r i o d of mining at Nanaimo. N e s b i t t , James K. "Nanaimo Coal Miners Were Most R e b e l l i o u s V i c t o r i a D a i l y C o l o n i s t , November 13, 1966, pp.10-11. The a r t i c l e a c t u a l l y concerns the W e l l i n g t o n s t r i k e of 1883. Raines, J.A. "The Men and the Mines on Vancouver I s l a n d . B r i t i s h Columbia Magazine (September, 1913), v o l . 9 , pp.521-527. The w r i t e r was i n t e r e s t e d i n the extent to which o r i g i n a l Old Country accents were present i n the speech of Nanaimo miners. W r i t t e n during the long 1912-1914 c o a l s t r i k e . - 205 -Roy, R.H. " . . . i n A i d of C i v i l Power." 1877, Canadian  Army J o u r n a l (October, 1953), v o l . 7 , pp.65-77. S a y w e l l , John T. "Labour and S o c i a l i s m i n B r i t i s h Columbia: An H i s t o r i c a l Survey to 1903." B r i t i s h  Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y (July-October,1951), pp.129-150. A good i n t r o d u c t i o n to the study of labour i n t h i s p e r i o d . Strachan, Robert. "Coal Mining i n B r i t i s h Columbia." T r a n s a c t i o n s , Canadian I n s t i t u t e of Mining and Metalurgy, vol.26, 1923, pp.70-32. A u s e f u l h i s t o r y of the growth of the c o a l i n d u s t r y to the end of the l a s t main business c y c l e i n the i n d u s t r y on the i s l a n d . Rowe, Reverend E.S. " E d i t o r i a l on the Labour Problem." Western Methodist Recorder ( J u l y , 1901), vol.3, p.2. The Recorder d i d not give any a t t e n t i o n to the mining community where a l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n of miners seem to have been members of the Methodist Church. 3 Newspapers Cumberland, The News, January 2k, 1898 -Throughout the years I898 to 1903 the e d i t o r s of t h i s paper c o n s i s t e n t l y opposed the formation of a union i n Cumberland. The e d i t o r s supported the i n t e r e s t s of the l o c a l merchants, the farmers and James Dunsmuir. Ladysmith, The Leader, January 1, 1902 - December 31, 1902. The D a i l y Ledger, 1903. These papers supported the l o c a l merchants and James Dunsmuir, the founder of Ladysmith. The papers i n t e r p r e t e d the demand f o r a union at Extension as the work of a few s o c i a l i s t s and a g i t a t o r s . Nanaimo, The D a i l y Herald, J u l y 22, 1898 -Reported labour news i n considerable d e t a i l . Supported the L i b e r a l - l a b o u r p a r t y i n the r e g i o n as against the independent S o c i a l i s t labour p a r t y . - 206 -Nanaimo, The Free Press, January 1883 - December 1 9 0 3 . This paper gave good coverage of labour news and attempted to be f a i r and unbiased i n i t s judgments. Vaneouver,• The D a i l y Province Good coverage of labour news. I t s r e p o r t i n g was f a i r . E d i t o r i a l l y the paper tended to favour the i n t e r e s t s of the Vancouver merchants and the r a i l w a y employees i n the s t r i k e of 1903 at Vancouver. The Independent ( 1 9 0 0 - 1 9 0 5 ) . The o f f i c i a l organ of the Vancouver Trades and Labour C o u n c i l . Thorough coverage of labour news but l i t t l e , a t t e n t i o n given to i s l a n d c o a l s t r i k e i n 1 9 0 3 . The Western C l a r i o n , 1903 - 1 9 2 4 . Endorsed by the Vancouver Trades and Labour C o u n c i l , the Western Federation of Mine's and the United Brotherhood of Railway Employees i n 1 9 0 3 . Thorough coverage of labour news. Supported the S o c i a l i s t P a r t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. V i c t o r i a , The D a i l y C o l o n i s t . F a i r coverage of labour news. Supported James Dunsmuir i n the I s l a n d c o a l s t r i k e i n 1 9 0 3 . W e l l i n g t o n , The Enterprise,January 4,1895-December 3 0 , 1 8 9 8 . Good coverage of labour news. Favoured the i n t e r e s t s of the l o c a l merchants and opposed the formation of unions i n the W e l l i n g t o n mines. C S p e c i a l Studies 1 Biography and Autobiography Dawson, R.McGregor. W i l l i a m Lyon Mackenzie King. Toronto, 1 9 5 8 . King's comments on the Royal Commissioners of 1903 gave an i n s i d e a p p r a i s a l of t h e i r a t t i t u d e towards the miners. Dawson was very u n c r i t i c a l of King's work on the Report - 207 -and d i d not acknowledge contemporary c r i t i c i s m s of i t . Ferns, H.S. and Ostry, B. The Age of Mackenzie K i n g . London, 1953. The w r i t e r s a i n t e r p r e t King's involvement i n i n d u s t r i a l disputes c o n c i l i a t i o n as the means King used to f u r t h e r h i s own ambitions. The w r i t e r s were very c r i t i c a l of h i s work on the 1903 Report. Haywood, W i l l i a m D. The Autobiography of B i l l Haywood. New York, 1929. Haywood was s e c r e t a r y of the Western Federation i n 1903. There i s no i n d i c a t i o n i n h i s autobiography that the F e d e r a t i o n t r i e d to maneuvre the i s l a n d miners i n t o the union. Haywood's l i f e s t o r y gives a r e v e a l i n g account of l i f e and work i n the mining camps. Steeves, Dorothy. The Compassionate Rebel. Vancouver , 1960 . The r e b e l , Ernest Winch, d i d not work i n the mining i n d u s t r y but the author discusses many aspects of l i f e and labour i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n the years a f t e r 1899. 2 Pamphlets Chinese Labour. A Report of the Proceedings i n Attorney-.General v. W e l l i n g t o n C o l l i e r y Co. i n 1903 Regarding the V i o l a t i o n of the Coal Mines Regulations A c t . Published by the Rossland Conservative A s s o c i a t i o n , Rossland, B r i t i s h Columbia, 1903• P u b l i c A r c h i ves of B r i t i s h Columbia. APPENDIX 1 C o n s t i t u t i o n and By-Laws of the Rossland Miners' Union No.38 (W.F.M.) Adopted October 22, I896, November 23, 1898 and May 29, 1901 P R E A M B L E Since there i s s c a r c e l y any f a c t better known than th a t c i v i l i z a t i o n has f o r c e n t u r i e s progressed i n p r o p o r t i o n to the production and u t i l i z a t i o n of the metals precious and base, ahd most of the comforts enjoyed by the great m a j o r i t y of mankind are due to t h i s progress, the men engaged i n the hazardous and unhealthy occupations of mining should r e c e i v e a f a i r compensation f o r t h e i r l a b o r , and such p r o t e c t i o n from the law as w i l l remove needless r i s k t o l i f e and limb; we ther e f o r e deem i t necessary to organize the Rossland Miners' Union as a branch of the Western Federation of Miners of America, f o r the purpose of securing by education and o r g a n i z a t i o n and wise l e g i s l a t i o n , a j u s t compensation f o r our labor and the r i g h t to use our earnings f r e e from d i c t a t i o n by any person whatsoever. We ther e f o r e declare our objects to be: -- 208 -- 209 -F i r s t - To secure an earning f u l l y compatible w i t h the dangers of our employment. Second - To p r a c t i c e of those v i r t u e s t h a t elevate and adorn s o c i e t y and remind man of h i s duty to h i s f e l l o w man, the e l e v a t i o n of h i s p o s i t i o n and maintenance of the r i g h t s of the miners. T h i r d - To e s t a b l i s h as s p e e d i l y as p o s s i b l e and f o r e v e r our r i g h t t o r e c e i v e pay f o r labor performed i n l a w f u l money, and to r i d ourselves of the i n i q u i t o u s system of spending our earnings where and how our employers or t h e i r o f f i c e r s may designate. Fourth - To procure the i n t r o d u c t i o n and use of any and a l l s u i t a b l e e f f i c i e n t appliances f o r the p r e s e r v a t i o n of l i f e , h e a l t h and limbs of a l l employees, and thereby preserve to s o c i e t y the l i v e s of a l a r g e number of wealth producers a n n u a l l y . F i f t h - To labor f o r the enactment of s u i t a b l e mining laws, w i t h a s u f f i c i e n t number of i n s p e c t o r s , who s h a l l be p r a c t i c a l miners, f o r the proper enforcement of such laws. S i x t h - To provide f o r the education of our c h i l d r e n by l a w f u l l y p r o h i b i t i n g t h e i r employment u n t i l they s h a l l have obtained a s a t i s f a c t o r y education, and i n every case u n t i l they s h a l l have reached s i x t e e n years of age. - 210 -Seventh - To prevent by law any mine owner or mining company from employing any d e t e c t i v e s or other armed f o r c e s , from ta k i n g possession of any mine, except the l a w f u l l y e l e c t e d or appointed f o r c e s of the country, who s h a l l be bona-fide r e s i d e n t s of the d i s t r i c t and province. Eighth - For use a l l honorable means t o maintain f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s between ourselves and our employers, and endeavor by a r b i t r a t i o n and c o n c i l i a t i o n t o s e t t l e such d i f f e r e n c e s as may a r i s e between us and thus make s t r i k e s unnecessary. Ninth - To use a l l l a w f u l and honorable means t o a b o l i s h the system of c o n v i c t l a b o r i n s t a t e s where i t now e x i s t s , and to demand the enforcement of the f o r e i g n c o n t r a c t l a b o r law and the p r o t e c t i o n of our American miners and mechanics against imported pauper l a b o r . Tenth - To demand the r e p e a l of a l l conspiracy laws that i n any way abridge the r i g h t s of la b o r organiza-t i o n s . Eleventh - To procure employment f o r our members i n preference to non-union men. O r i g i n a l copy of Preamble i n S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s , A r c h i v e s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. APPENDIX 2 A P e t i t i o n Against the Coal Mining B i l l of 1877 by Four Vancouver Island Coal Companies P E T I T I O N To the Honourable the Speaker and Honourable Members of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia i n Parliament now assembled: -The p e t i t i o n of the undersigned, representing every coal mine i n operation i n the Province, humbly sheweths-1. That a B i l l now before your Honourable Body i n t i t u l e d "The Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1877," i s calculated to work unjustly and oppressively upon a l l c o l l i e r y proprietors. 2. That i f the said B i l l become law i t s provisions w i l l hamper, without any good and s u f f i c i e n t reason, the progress of mining enterprise, r e s t r i c t the coal trade, and occasion vexation and loss without any corresponding benefit to any party. Your p e t i t i o n e r s , therefore, beg your Honourable Body not to l e g i s l a t e with undue haste upon t h i s important question, - 211 -- 212 -but to appoint a Select Committee or a Commission to enquire as to the necessity for such a measure. And your pe t i t i o n e r s w i l l ever pray etc. etc. The Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Co.,Limited, M. Bate. 0 >, J . Bryden, ) Mangers. Wellington C o l l i e r y , Robert Dunsmuir. Baynes Sound C o l l i e r y Co., Rod'k Finlayson, Chairman. David Leneveu, ) Wm. Wilson, ) M.W.T. Drake, ) Directors. H.F.Heisterman,) Harewood Coal Mine, Thos. A.Bulkley, Proprietor. ( B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, Sessional Papers. 1877, P.50&.) APPENDIX 3 Agreement of Vancouver Coal Company wit h Employees Memorandum of Agreement Entered i n t o Between the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company,Limited, and the Miners and Mine Labourers' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n of Vancouver I s l a n d , t h i s 24th day of J u l y , 1891. 1 The company agrees to employ miners and mine labourers only who are already members of the Miners and Min Labourers' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n , or who w i t h i n a reasonable p e r i o d a f t e r employment, become members of the a s s o c i a t i o n . 2 The company agrees to dismiss no employee who i s a member of the a s s o c i a t i o n without reasonable cause. 3 The a s s o c i a t i o n agree th a t under no c o n s i d e r a t i o n w i l l they stop work by s t r i k e without exhausting a l l other • means of c o n c i l i a t i o n a v a i l a b l e . 4 The a s s o c i a t i o n agree that they w i l l not i n t e r f e r e w i t h the company i n employing or d i s c h a r g i n g employees. 5 The a s s o c i a t i o n s h a l l comprise a l l men employed under-- 213 -- 214 -ground, excepting o f f i c i a l s and engine d r i v e r s , and above ground a l l day labourers not o f f i c a l s , engine d r i v e r s or mechanics. 6 This agreement can be terminated by 30 days' n o t i c e on e i t h e r s i d e . For the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company,Limited, (Signed) Samuel M. Robins. For the Miners and Mine Labourers' P r o t e c t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n of Vancouver I s l a n d , (Signed) T u l l y Boyce, John Humphries, Robert B. Lamb, Committee. John Horrobin, Peter Baines. (From the Minutes of O f f i c i a l Evidence, R o y a l Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1903). APPENDIX h P e t i t i o n of M.M.L.P.A. to Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration (1902) John C. McGregor, Secretary of the Trades and Labour C o u n c i l , of Nanaimo, presented c e r t a i n r e s o l u t i o n s of the Miners 1 Union which s h o r t l y and f u l l y set f o r t h the views of the miners and mine labourers of Nanaimo, and probably f a i r l y represent the views of t h i s important c l a s s i n the whole p r o v i n c e : -The f o l l o w i n g r e s o l u t i o n was unanimously discussed and c a r r i e d a t the Miners' meeting h e l d on January the 26th i n s t . That as a Miners' Union we implore the Commis-sio n e r s t o impress upon the Dominion a u t h o r i t i e s the great n e c e s s i t y there i s f o r r e s t r i c t i n g or preventing the i m p o r t a t i o n of the above c l a s s of labourers i n t o our province. That as miners we know by hard experience t h a t these workmen are very undesirable i n and about our mines, because of t h e i r being an ignorant and there-f o r e a dangerous c l a s s of workmen. In 1887 a serious accident occurred i n Nanaimo - 215 -- 216 -r e s u l t i n g i n the l o s s of over one hundred l i v e s , and the f o l l o w i n g year at W e l l i n g t o n , w i t h almost a s i m i l a r r e s u l t , and there were good reasons f o r supposing that these s e r i o u s accidents were due t o a consider-able extent to the above c l a s s of workmen. So much so, that the operators of these mines v o l u n t a r i l y agreed to dispose e n t i r e l y of them from t h e i r mines and as a matter of f a c t no such accident has occurred since they were put out of these mines. The f a c t of t h i s has been made so c l e a r to the members of our p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e t h a t they have ex e r c i s e d t h e i r powers to the utmost extent t o s a f e -guard the l i v e s of white miners both i n c o a l and metal mines by enacting laws p r o h i b i t i n g t h e i r employment underground; such l e g i s l a t i o n has however been declared u l t r a v i r e s of the l o c a l House and we are now depending upon the d i s p o s i t i o n of the mine operators to keep them out, a s t a t e of t h i n g s we consider should not be allowed to continue, c o n s i d e r i n g the dangerous nature of under-ground work. We therefore present these f a c t s and d e p o s i t i o n s to you i n the hope that the Dominion a u t h o r i t i e s w i l l as soon as p o s s i b l e give us greater s e c u r i t y as miners. On behalf of the above a s s o c i a t i o n . WILLIAM STOCKER, President JAS.BRADLEY,Vice-President. RlLPH SMITH,M.P.Secretary NEIL McCUISH, A s s i s t a n t Sec'y. WM. SMITH, Treasurer. (Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, Ottawa, 1902, S e s s i o n a l Paper. No.54a.) APPENDIX 5 P e t i t i o n of the Miners' P r o t e c t i v e Union S p e c i a l Meeting, A l e x a n d r i a Mine, South W e l l i n g t o n . F r i d a y , February 22, 1901, 4:30 p.m. Meeting c a l l e d i n order to hear l e t t e r read from F. J . Deane, s e c r e t a r y of Royal Commission to i n q u i r e i n t o Chinese and Japanese Immigration to B r i t i s h Columbia, and to d i s c u s s the subject and decide upon a r e p l y t o the se c r e t a r y ' s l e t t e r . President c a l l s meeting to order. Secretary reads the l e t t e r . Correspondence r e c e i v e d and open f o r d i s c u s s i o n . Resolved that the s e c r e t a r y be i n s t r u c t e d to r e p l y as f o l l o w s : -That we, the members of the Miners' P r o t e c t i v e Union, as a body of B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s , do, a f t e r due r e f l e c -t i o n and c o n s i d e r a t i o n upon the subject of Chinese and Japanese immigration i n t o B r i t i s h Columbia, hereby decl a r e and make our opinions and c o n v i c t i o n s , as f o l l o w s : -1. That, whereas the immigrants from China and Japan, employed i n the c o a l mines of t h i s p r o v ince, c o n s t i t u t e s a grave menace to the s a f e t y of the mining community of t h i s p r o v i n ce. - 217 -- 218 -2. With regard to the f a t a l e x p l o s i o n at Cumberland, which took place on February 15th. 1901 T we b e l i e v e that better precautions would have been adopted by the management i f the men employed i n the mine had been a l l white men, and we b e l i e v e that the e x p l o s i o n would not have occurred had no Mongolians been working i n the mine. 3 . We b e l i e v e that the employment of Chinese and Japanese immigrants i n the var i o u s i n d u s t r i e s of t h i s province i s i n i m i c a l to the p r o s p e r i t y of the province, and that i t i s in s t r u m e n t a l i n and conducive to the lowering of the white men's wages. 4-. We b e l i e v e that Mongolians absorb, to a great e x t e n t , the revenues of t h i s p r o v i nce. 5. Me b e l i e v e that the presence of Mongolians i n t h i s province i s a great f a c t o r i n keeping white men of a l l c l a s s e s from s e t t l i n g i n t h i s p r o v i n c e , and we b e l i e v e i t i s a l s o the cause of many white men l e a v i n g the province. 6. That whereas the Mongolian standard of l i v i n g i s f a r i n f e r i o r to tha t of the white man, we b e l i e v e t h a t the white man can never a s s i m i l a t e w i t h or compete w i t h the Mongolians. 7. That whereas the h a b i t s and general character of Mongolians make them detestable to a l l white men throughout t h i s province, we b e l i e v e that the presence - 219 -of Chinese and Japanese immigrants i n t h i s province c o n s t i t u t e s a grave menace to the p u b l i c peace. 8. We b e l i e v e that unless r a p i d a c t i o n i s taken w i t h a view to e x p e l l i n g them from t h i s province the white man w i l l leave t h i s province i n possession of Chinese and Japanese immigrants. L e t t e r produced and read from Mr. Mclnnes r e p e t i t i o n r e c e i v e d and f i l e d . Meeting adjourned - no other business t r a n s a c t e d . EDWARD L. TERRY, Secret a r y , M.P.U. (Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, Ottawa, 1902, S e s s i o n a l Paper. No. 54a.) APPENDIX 6 Proposed Agreement entered i n t o between the Western F u e l Company and Nanaimo Miners 1 Union No.177» Western Fe d e r a t i o n of Miners. 1 The company agrees t o employ miners and mine labourers only who are already members of the Miners' Union No. 177, W.F.M., or who w i t h i n a reasonable p e r i o d become members of the same. 2 The company agrees to dismiss no employee who i s a member of the union without a reasonable cause. 3 The union agrees that under no c o n s i d e r a t i o n w i l l they stop work by s t r i k e without exhausting a l l other means of c o n c i l i a t i o n a v a i l a b l e . Neither to demand an advance of p r i c e s , or change of other recognized c o n d i t i o n s , by s t r i k i n g , without f i r s t g i v i n g a n o t i c e of t h i r t y days t o the company. And the company agree to give t h i r t y days' n o t i c e before demanding a r e d u c t i o n of p r i c e s , or change of other recognized e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n s . 4- The union agree that they w i l l not i n t e r f e r e with the company i n employing or d i s c h a r g i n g men without some reasonable cause. 5 The union s h a l l comprise a l l men employed i n and around the mines excepting o f f i c i a l s o nly. 6 The company agree that i n a l l d e f i c i e n t work, made - 220 -- 221 -d e f i c i e n t by f o l l o w i n g causes, low c o a l , bodies of rock, or d i r t , whether measurable or not, or f o r any other such cause, t o pay not l e s s than three d o l l a r s per day per man, so long as such d e f i c i e n c y e x i s t s . 7 The company agree to pay f o r s t r i n g e r s i n the p i l l a r and s o l i d work a l i k e . 8 The company agree to a l l o w pay f o r the removal of timbers, p l a c i n g of timbers, or removal of rock i n the breaking away of new p l a c e s . Such pay t o be agreed upon by the p i t boss and the men a f f e c t e d , and i f unable t o agree, then the management and the executive committee of the union. 9 The company agree to allo w some c o n s i d e r a t i o n of pay f o r d i r t i n c o n t r a c t p l a c e s , and where the digger i s by such cause hindered making what he otherwise c o u l d make, or an average wage under average c o n d i t i o n s . Handed t o Mr. R u s s e l l by the committee at meeting, F r i d a y , 27th February, 1903 (Minutes of O f f i c i a l Evidence, R o y a l Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1903.) APPENDIX 7 I t i s hereby mutually agreed by and between the ^Wellington C o l l i e r y Company, L i m i t e d , 1 ( h e r e i n -a f t e r r e f e r r e d to as the 'Company'), and (here-i n a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o as the 'miner'), i n c o n s i d -e r a t i o n of the promise and agreement by the other of them h e r e i n contained, as f o l l o w s : 1 The miner agrees to work continuously and e x c l u s i v e l y f o r the company as a c o a l miner i n t h e i r c o a l mines at or near Extension, f o r the p e r i o d of years from the day of the date hereof, i n a workmanlike and proper manner and i n accordance w i t h the usual p r a c t i c e i n the mine, f o r the remuneration and upon the terms of t h i s agreement. (Provided t h a t the company s h a l l not be bound t o f i n d work f o r the s a i d miner i n case of f i r e , e x p l o s i o n or t r o u b l e i n the s a i d mine, or l a c k of market.) 2 The wages or remuneration to be p a i d by the company to the miner f o r s a i d work s h a l l be s e v e n t y - f i v e cents f o r each and twenty-five hundredweight of c o a l mines and loaded i n miners' boxes by the miner i n the s a i d mines. Provided t h a t i n a l l d e f i c i e n t places the p r i c e t o be p a i d by the company to the miner f o r yardage s h a l l be such as s h a l l be agreed upon by the company's manager, the overman, and the miner, and provided a l s o that the p r i c e t o be p a i d by the company to the miner f o r narrow work, and f o r t a k i n g out p i l l a r c o a l s h a l l be such as s h a l l be agreed upon between - 222 -- 223 -the s a i d manager, overman and miner. The s a i d wages or remuneration to be p a i d monthly. 3 The miner s h a l l employ i n h i s s a i d work at l e a s t one he l p e r , and i n case of t a k i n g out p i l l a r c o a l , such f u r t h e r number of helpers as w i l l enable him to take the same out as s p e e d i l y as p o s s i b l e . The company s h a l l supply t o the miner i f and f o r so long as he performs the agreement on h i s p a r t h e r e i n contained, one ton of c o a l per month f o r h i s own domestic consumption at the p r i c e of two d o l l a r s per ton at the bunker. (Minutes of O f f i c i a l Evidence, Royal Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1903.) - 224 APPENDIX 8 Excerpts from the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Report on I n d u s t r i a l Disputes i n 1 9 0 3 Duties of Employers and Employees i n regard t o s t r i k e s . As s t r i k e s are intended t o cause l o s s and inconvenience to the employer i n order to f o r c e him to y i e l d i n whole or i n p a r t to the demands of the s t r i k e r s , and as they always cause l o s s and p r i v a t i o n to the s t r i k e r s themselves; and as they are almost i n v a r i a b l y f o l l o w e d by l o s s and damage to many others i n the community where they occur; as they are i n some cases accompanied by sympathetic s t r i k e s and are f r e q u e n t l y accompanied by r e p r e h e n s i b l e and i l l e g a l p r a c t i c e s , such as b o y c o t t i n g , b l a c k l i s t i n g , p i c k e t i n g and i n t i m i d a t i o n , and sometimes by a s s a u l t s , r i o t s and l o s s of l i f e and prope r t y ; i t i s the p l a i n duty of the employer and employed and of the s t a t e , to exhaust a l l p o s s i b l e means t o secure t h e i r p r e v e n t i o n . R i g h t s of Employers and Employees i n regard to S t r i k e s . With respect to the r i g h t s of employers and workmen i n r e l a t i o n t o s t r i k e s and l o c k - o u t s , we t h i n k much would be - 225 -gained i f these could be c l e a r l y set f o r t h i n a code. I t i s g e n e r a l l y recognized t h a t the workmen are j u s t i f i e d i n combining together to secure i n c r e a s e d wages or shorter hours, or other l e g i t i m a t e changes i n the c o n d i t i o n s of t h e i r employment, and f a i l i n g assent by t h e i r employer, i n q u i t t i n g simultaneously, o r , as i t i s c a l l e d , going out on s t r i k e . And t h i s even though i t may occasion the employer great l o s s and damage, unless some v a l i d c o n t r a c t i s thereby v i o l a t e d ; or unless the s t r i k e i s such as to amount to m a l i c i o u s i n j u r y to p r o p e r t y ; or i s l i a b l e to cause l o s s of l i f e ; or i s i n furtherance of a conspiracy to i n j u r e or r e s t r a i n t r a d e , some of which act s i n v o l v e only c i v i l , others both c i v i l and c r i m i n a l l i a b i l i t y . On the other hand, we t h i n k t h a t p u b l i c o p i n i o n , as w e l l as t h a t of those prominent i n labour c i r c l e s , e m p h a t ically condemns the sympathetic s t r i k e , the boycott, i n t i m i d a t i o n , the b l a c k l i s t , and p i c k e t i n g as i t i s commonly p r a c t i c e s . R i g h t s of Union and Non-Union Men. I t i s one of the fundamental r i g h t s of a f r e e people t h a t every man s h a l l choose f o r himself whether he s h a l l belong or not t o a union, and t h a t whether he belongs or not he may work without being i n s u l t e d , molested, i n t i m i d a t e d or oppressed by any person or union whatever. I t i s a l s o - 226 -c l e a r l y one of the fundamental r i g h t s of every employer t h a t he may employ any man he chooses, s u b j e c t , of course, to any laws t h a t may be r e g u l a t i n g the p a r t i c u l a r business. T r i e d by t h i s t e s t , the sympathetic s t r i k e , which i s declared on account of the employment of non-union labour t o take the places of other s t r i k e r s , i s i r r a t i o n a l and wrong. The o r i g i n a l s t r i k e r s may have the l e g a l or moral r i g h t t o s t r i k e on account of some disagreement w i t h t h e i r employer, but they have no r i g h t by f o r c e t o make him keep t h e i r places open u n t i l they see f i t to r e t u r n , or to beset, boycott or i n t i m i d a t e men who may see f i t to work on the terms which they r e j e c t . Then, i f they have no such r i g h t a f o r t i o r i , other union employees who may be working f o r the same or a d i f f e r e n t employer, have no r i g h t to i n t e r f e r e or to s t r i k e because of the employment of such s u b s t i t u t e l a b o u r . Sympathetic S t r i k e s . S i m i l a r l y , other kinds of sympathetic s t r i k e s ought to be r i g i d l y repressed, as they are opposed to p u b l i c o p i n i o n , and to the great mass of o p i n i o n among the l a b o u r i n g c l a s s e s themselves, as w e l l as to n a t u r a l j u s t i c e and reason. For i n s t a n c e , take the case of a s t r i k e by a body of c o a l miners s o l e l y f o r the purpose of preventing c o a l being s u p p l i e d to a r a i l w a y company which has had a disagreement w i t h some of i t s employees. Upon what p r i n c i p l e can t h i s be j u s t i f i e d ? Why should the employer of the c o a l miners be - 227 -to break h i s c o n t r a c t w i t h the r a i l w a y company? Hfihy should he be subjected to great l o s s and damage because of a d i s -agreement between others to which he i s not a p a r t y , and which a r i s e s through no f a u l t of h i s own, and why should the innocent p u b l i c and n e u t r a l i n d u s t r i e s be subjected to embarrassment and l o s s ? The S t r i k e f o r R e c o g n i t i o n . Whether the s t r i k e f o r r e c o g n i t i o n should be allowed or p r o h i b i t e d i s not so easy to determine. I t i s true t h a t i n theory a body of men should have the r i g h t to say that they w i l l d e a l c o l l e c t i v e l y and not i n d i v i d u a l l y w i t h an employer; and i f a l l t h a t was meant by a s t r i k e f o r r e c o g n i -t i o n was that they would merely r e f r a i n from work u n t i l the employer saw f i t to accede to the demand, such a s t r i k e c o uld not be regarded as i n h e r e n t l y wrong; but the f a c t i s that s t r i k e s s o l e l y f o r r e c o g n i t i o n are f r e q u e n t l y accompanied by c o e r c i o n by i l l e g a l p r a c t i c e s of both employers and any non-union men who may be disposed to take up the work which the s t r i k e r s have l e f t . There i s , however, one way f o r unions to get r o c o g n i t i o n which i s obviously the surest and the best way. I t i s by showing employers by experience that i t i s to t h e i r advantage to deal w i t h unions as such, and t h a t the unions w i l l regard the i n t e r e s t s of the employers as w e l l as t h e i r own, remembering that the f i n a n c i a l burdens and r i s k s of the - 2 2 8 -business f a l l upon the employers. And here, i t may be remarked, l i e s the e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between the l e g i t i m a t e trade u n i o n i s t and the r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o c i a l i s t : the former r e a l i z e s that he has a common i n t e r e s t w i t h the employer i n the s u c c e s s f u l conduct of the business; the l a t t e r postu-l a t e s an i r r e c o n c i l a b l e h o s t i l i t y and i s ever compassing the embarrassment or r u i n of the employer, a l l the w h i l e i g n o r i n g the f a c t t h a t c a p i t a l and labour are the two blades of the shears which, to work w e l l , must be j o i n e d together by the b o l t of mutual confidence, but, i f wrenched a p a r t , are both h e l p l e s s and u s e l e s s . I n t e r n a t i o n a l Organizations. I t i s thus p l a i n that a Canadian, when he j o i n s such a union, surrenders a considerable p o r t i o n of h i s freedom i n matters of c o n t r a c t to a sm a l l body of men i n a f o r e i g n country, and i s , to tha t extent at a l l events, subject t o t h e i r d i c t a t i o n . However, so f a r as we have been able to gather, the c o n t r o l e x e r c i s e d by these f o r e i g n o f f i c i a l s has, g e n e r a l l y speaking, not been i n i m i c a l t o the i n t e r e s t s of the Canadian members e i t h e r as workmen or as B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s . The c h i e f o b j e c t i o n to the system of i n t e r n a t i o n a l unions i s the l i a b i l i t y of Canadian workmen t o i n t e r f e r e n c e s by the o f f i c i a l s i n matters of c o n t r a c t and settlement of - 229 -d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h t h e i r employers. I f , however, parliament were to declare t h a t notwithstanding anything contained i n the c o n s t i t u t i o n s or i n the r u l e s of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l bodies, any agreement a r r i v e d at by the employer w i t h h i s employees i n settlement of disputes s h a l l be v a l i d and bi n d i n g , we t h i n k the most formidable object to these bodies would be removed. The Western Federation of Miners, the United Brotherhood of Railway Employees and the American Labour Union. I t i s obviously against the p u b l i c i n t e r e s t that any body of Canadian workmen should be subject to be c a l l e d out on s t r i k e by a f o r e i g n a u t h o r i t y over whom n e i t h e r our l e g i s l a t u r e s nor courts can e x e r c i s e any c o n t r o l , and that whether they have any grievances against t h e i r employers or not. Whether the wheels of Canadian i n d u s t r y s h a l l run or s h a l l r u s t ought not to depend upon the decrees of a secret c o u n c i l at Denver. With regard t o these o r g a n i z a t i o n s we t h i n k they ought t o be s p e c i a l l y declared to be i l l e g a l , as t h e i r l eaders have shown th a t they care nothing about the o b l i g a t i o n of c o n t r a c t s or about the i n t e r e s t s of t h e i r employers, a g a i n s t whom they are ever fomenting d i s c o n t e n t ; that they ignore the c o n s t i t u t i o n s and r u l e s of t h e i r own or g a n i z a t i o n s whenever i t s u i t s them to do so; t h a t they at a l l times preach the d o c t r i n e of c o n f i s c a t i o n of property - 230 -without compensation, and tha t s o c i e t y i s d i v i d e d i n t o two c l a s s e s , the t o i l e r s and the s p o i l e r s ; t h a t they j u s t i f y the use of the boycott and the sympathetic s t r i k e ; t hat they do not disapprove of v i o l e n c e and i n t i m i d a t i o n ; t h a t they are wholly i n d i f f e r e n t to the l o s s and damage which they i n f l i c t upon the p u b l i c ; and tha t they r e c k l e s s l y a l l o w s u f f e r i n g and p r i v a t i o n to b e f a l l the f a m i l i e s of t h e i r misguided f o l l o w e r s , w i t h regard to whom they are c o n s t a n t l y g u i l t y of deception and concealment. The I n c o r p o r a t i o n of Unions. We t h i n k , then, that l e g i t i m a t e trade unionism ought to be encouraged and pr o t e c t e d , and tha t o r g a n i z a t i o n s of the c l a s s j u s t d e a l t w i t h ought t o be pr'nibited and declared i l l e g a l , and tha t there ought t o be s t r i c t enforcement of the law r e l a t i n g to the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of vo l u n t a r y oaths. We would, t h e r e f o r e , suggest t h a t p r o v i s i o n be made f o r the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of trade unions w i t h a model c o n s t i t u t i o n ; that among other things i t should be provided t h a t no s t r i k e should be declared without a t l e a s t 30 days' n o t i c e to the employer except i n cases where the employer i s attempting to change the c o n d i t i o n s of employment to the disadvantage of the employe without g i v i n g s i m i l a r n o t i c e ; that there should be at l e a s t a two-thirds m a j o r i t y of those present i n i t s favour at a meeting c a l l e d s p e c i a l l y to consider the - 231 -q u e s t i o n ; that the matter should be decided by b a l l o t ; t h a t no s t r i k e be declared which s h a l l be i n v i o l a t i o n of any c o n t r a c t not already v i o l a t e d by the employer; t h a t a l l s t r i k e s , l o c k - o u t s and disagreements with the employer s h a l l be s e t t l e d without the i n t e r f e r e n c e of any person r e s i d i n g o utside of the Dominion unless by mutual consent. The Union Label and the 'Unfair' and 'Scab' L i s t . F u r t h e r , we see no reason why i n c o r p o r t a t e d unions should not be given the r i g h t to use the union l a b e l on the products of t h e i r manufacture. And here i s an i l l u s t r a -t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e between methods which are r i g h t i n p r i n c i p l e and those which are wrong i n p r i n c i p l e . There i s no reason why a union should not be allowed to a d v e r t i s e i t s products by means of the l a b e l , and i n t h i s way bespeak the patronage of the p u b l i c . On the other hand, the p u b l i c a t i o n of the ' u n f a i r ' and 'scab' l i s t i s wrong i n p r i n c i p l e . Why should any person or union be allowed to p u b l i s h or p l a c a r d any other person or hody of men as ' u n f a i r ' or as 'scabs'? Such a c t i o n tends m a n i f e s t l y to a breach of the peace and argues a contemptuous i n d i f f e r e n c e t o , and a high-handed a t t a c k upon the r i g h t s of others. There i s no reason why the unions cannot confine themselves to the p u b l i c a t i o n of ' f a i r ' i n s t e a d of ' u n f a i r ' or 'scab' l i s t s - a 'white' l i s t , and not a 'black' l i s t . - 232 -The Boycott, I n t i m i d a t i o n and P i c k e t i n g . We have already a l l u d e d t o the boycott, i n t i m i d a t i o n and p i c k e t i n g . The two former are condemned by the best type of labour l e a d e r s , and indeed by a l l r i g h t t h i n k i n g . people. With regard to p i c k e t i n g , some evidence was given to show that t h i s was done i n the case of the r a i l w a y s t r i k e , accompanied by acts of i n t i m i d a t i o n , and there i s no doubt that a number of a s s a u l t s on both s t r i k e r s and 'scabs' took p l a c e , r e s u l t i n g i n one case i n the death of a s t r i k e r , which are d i r e c t l y a t t r i b u t a b l e to the existence of the s t r i k e . A l l of which demonstrates, i f i t needed domenstration, t h a t a s t r i k e i s a very serious disturbance of the s o c i a l peace and p r o s p e r i t y , and i s t o be prevented by a l l means p o s s i b l e . Preventive Measures by P a r t i e s . With regard to preventive measures by the p a r t i e s themselves, obviously the simplest and best way i s f o r the contending p a r t i e s to s e t t l e t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s by compromise and mutual concession, e i t h e r w i t h or without the mediation of o t h e r s , both keeping i n mind the f a c t that there may be good reason f o r the other's stand, and that they both owe a duty to the community which p r o t e c t s and s u s t a i n s them, not to i n f l i c t any more damage and inconvenience upon i t than - 233 -i s a b s o l u t e l y necessary. I t i s a l s o too o f t e n f o r g o t t e n by employees th a t they have f a m i l i e s to support, and that they have no r i g h t to plunge the community i n t o a s t a t e of s t r i f e which a s t r i k e i n v a r i a b l y causes unless they are f o r c e d t o do so by the most compelling n e c e s s i t y ; and by employers, e s p e c i a l l y those who are i n c o n t r o l of e x c l u s i v e f r a n c h i s e s and n a t u r a l monopolies, t h a t they do not own t h e i r f r a n c h i s e or property i n any absolute sense, but that they enjoy t h e i r b e n e f i c i a l c o n t r o l by the s a n c t i o n and approval of the s o c i e t y i n which they l i v e , and t h a t they are t h e r e f o r e under a s p e c i a l o b l i g a t i o n t o s o c i e t y t o see to i t t h a t t h e i r management does not, by a r b i t r a r y and unreasonable conduct, become a p u b l i c nuisance. Preventive Measures by the S t a t e . As to the best method of minimizing the danger of s t r i k e s and l o c k - o u t s by l e g i s l a t i o n , we t h i n k the most e f f e c t i v e means w i l l be found i n compelling p u b l i c i t y at the e a r l i e s t stage of the t r o u b l e . Greater P u b l i c i t y . No s t r i k e or lock-out should be allowed except upon g i v i n g at l e a s t 30 days' n o t i c e , (some of the unions p r e s c r i b e 3 months), where the other party i s not attempting to change the terms or c o n d i t i o n s of the employment, and the i n t e n d i n g s t r i k e r s or employers should be compelled to f i l e a sworn - 234 -statement, f u l l y and a c c u r a t e l y s e t t i n g f o r t h the reasons f o r the intended s t r i k e or lock-out i n the o f f i c e of the R e g i s t r a r of the Supreme Court of the pr o v i n c e , and of the M i n i s t e r of Labour at Ottawa, at l e a s t 3 weeks before the day f i x e d f o r the s t r i k e or l o c k - o u t . The statement should a l s o be served upon the opposite p a r t y , who should be r e q u i r e d to f i l e a sworn answer thereto w i t h i n 10 days of i t s r e c e i p t . On the other hand, where the other p a r t y attempts to change the terms and c o n d i t i o n s of the employment, p r o v i s i o n could be made r e q u i r i n g statements to be f i l e d e i t h e r before or a f t e r the s t r i k e or lock-out takes p l a c e , according to the nature of the case. In t h i s way the press and the p u b l i c w i l l a t once become a u t h o r i t a t i v e l y informed by both sides of t h e i r p o s i t i o n at the outset of the t r o u b l e , and p u b l i c o p i n i o n w i l l a t once begin to act upon the p a r t i e s , and no doubt i n many cases, before the day f i x e d f o r the s t r i k e or loc k - o u t a r r i v e s , b e t t e r counsels w i l l p r e v a i l . I t would a l s o a f f o r d an opportunity f o r settlement by means of c o n c i l i a t i o n or a r b i t r a t i o n before the p a r t i e s came to arm's l e n g t h . S i m i l a r l y i f an employer were to order a l o c k -out s o l e l y on the ground that t h e men had j o i n e d a union not p r o h i b i t e d by law, we t h i n k p u b l i c o p i n i o n would soon make i t unmistakably appear that such a lock-out would not be j u s t i f i a b l e . - 2 3 5 -Boards of C o n c i l i a t i o n . There i s no doubt t h a t t h e establishment of boards of c o n c i l i a t i o n w i l l go f a r i n the d i r e c t i o n of a v o i d i n g s t r i k e s and l o c k - o u t s . The weight of o p i n i o n i n Great B r i t a i n and i n the United S t a t e s , both among employers and employed, seems to be t h a t c o n c i l i a t i o n ought to be the method i n v a r i a b l y r e s o r t e d to i n the settlement of i n d u s t r i a l d i s p u t e s , and t h a t a general scheme of compulsory a r b i t r a t i o n would be productive of more harm than good, the c h i e f grounds of o b j e c t i o n being that i t i s a very serious i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h the freedom of c o n t r a c t , that i t i s g e n e r a l l y a compromise which i s not s a t i s f a c t o r y t o e i t h e r p a r t y , being a r r i v e d at i n the l a s t r e s u l t by an umpire who may not f u l l y a p p reciate the p o s i t i o n of one or other of the p a r t i e s , and that i t i s seldom l o y a l l y accepted and l i v e d up to by both p a r t i e s . Compulsory A r b i t r a t i o n . The weight of o p i n i o n as expressed before the Commission was against compulsory a r i b t r a t i o n , and w h i l e we do not t h i n k t h a t a law applying t h i s method of s e t t l i n g disputes t o i n d u s t r i e s g e n e r a l l y would meet w i t h general approval, there are s p e c i a l cases i n which i t would seem to be the necessary f i n a l r e s o r t . I t does not need any argument t o show that p u b l i c - 236 -s e r v i c e undertakings, such as r a i l w a y s , telegraphs, t e l e -phones, steamships, the supplying of power, water and l i g h t , and p a r t i c u l a r i n d u s t r i e s , such as c o a l mining, must be c a r r i e d on without i n t e r r u p t i o n i f the whole i n d u s t r i a l business of the community i s not to be s e r i o u s l y damaged or r u i n e d . Labour Leaders. The testimony shows that i t i s of the utmost consequence to the workmen themselves that they e x e r c i s e extreme c a u t i o n i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n to j o i n any given organ-i z a t i o n s . There can be no doubt th a t the designs and aims of the o r g a n i z a t i o n s , which we have suggested should be declared i l l e g a l , were to a l a r g e extent concealed from the men by t h e i r l e a d e r s . Workmen ought not, i n t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s , to leave themselves open t o the charge th a t they a r e , as some employers c l a i m 'slaves of the union,' and yet the evidence shows that i t would not be a wholly i n c o r r e c t d e s c r i p t i o n of the p o s i t i o n of those who were engaged i n the s t r i k e s i n q u e s t i o n . I f workmen are not c a r e f u l i n the s e l e c t i o n of t h e i r l e a d e r s , i f they do not choose s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d and fair-minded men as the o f f i c e r s of t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n s , the case f o r r e c o g n i t i o n i s hopeless. - 237 -I n t e r f e r e n c y of Foreign O f f i c i a l s . As w i l l be seen by the evidence already d e t a i l e d , the question of how f a r there should be l e g i s l a t i o n d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t f o r e i g n i n t e r f e r e n c e with Canadian workmen comes up squarely f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The evidence presents two c l a s s e s of i n t e r f e r e n c e : one, t h a t of procuring and i n c i t i n g to q u i t work by the f o r e i g n a g i t a t o r i n person; and the other, the case of o f f i c i a l s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l or other o r g a n i z a t i o n s who remain i n the f o r e i g n country, but who procure and i n c i t e by means of other o f f i c i a l s w i t h i n Canada, and who assume the c o n t r o l and d i r e c t i o n of Canadian workmen u n t i l the t e r m i n a t i o n of the d i s p u t e . As has already been s a i d , i t should not be t o l e r a t e d that Canadian i n d u s t r i e s should be subject to the d i c t a t i o n of f o r e i g n e r s who know no law, so f a r as such i n d u s t r i e s are concerned, but t h e i r own d e s i r e s , and whose business and avowed object i t i s to keep up unceasing f r i c t i o n between the employer and employed, and who are not trade u n i o n i s t s , but s o c i a l i s t i c a g i t a t o r s of the most bigoted and ignorant type. We t h e r e f o r e t h i n k t h a t i t i s necessary f o r Parliament to i n t e r f e r e i n the d i r e c t i o n of making i t an offence, punishable, i n minor cases, on summary c o n v i c t i o n before a country judge or p o l i c e or s t i p e n d i a r y magistrate, by f i n e or imprisonment, and i n graver cases, on c o n v i c t i o n by imprisonment only, f o r any person not a B r i t i s h s u b j e c t , and - 238 -who has not been r e s i d i n g i n the province f o r at l e a s t one year, to procure or i n c i t e any employee or employees i n Canada to q u i t the employment without the consent of the employer; or f o r any person w i t h i n Canada to e x h i b i t or p u b l i s h , or i n any way communicate to any employee or employees the contents of any order, request, suggestion or recommendation, (or any document purporting to be a copy t h e r e o f ) , by any person or persons o r d i n a r i l y r e s i d e n t without Canada, that he or they q u i t e the employment as a f o r e s a i d , whether such order, request, suggestion or recom-mendation, or copy thereof i s signed, or purports to be signed by such person or persons on h i s or t h e i r own behalf, or on behalf of any other person, or of any a s s o c i a t i o n of persons, whether incorporated or not. The testimony before us showed p r a c t i c a l unanimity on the pa r t of the i n t e l l i g e n t and strong minded members of the l a b o u r i n g c l a s s e s that f o r e i g n a g i t a t o r s and t h e i r methods were not wanted, i n f a c t , as one of them put i t , they regarded i t as an i n s u l t t h a t such proposals should be made to them by any o u t s i d e r s . V i o l a t i o n of Contracts. The testimony shows that i t i s necessary to p e n a l i z e the wanton v i o l a t i o n of c o n t r a c t s as w e l l as the sympathetic s t r i k e . The older unions f o r the most part show a commendable - 239 -a p p r e c i a t i o n of t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n s i n t h i s r e g a r d , but some of the r e c e n t l y organized bodies have shown l i t t l e or no such a p p r e c i a t i o n , which i s probably due to the f a c t t h a t w h i l e they f e l t a new sense of power there was no sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . We would, t h e r e f o r e , suggest that the courts be c l o t h e d w i t h power to d i s i n c o r p o r a t e any i n c o r p o r a t e d union and to declare i l l e g a l any unincorporated o r g a n i z a t i o n which i s shown to have v i o l a t e d any c o n t r a c t without colour of r i g h t , or to have gone out on sympathetic s t r i k e . T h i s , of course, would not a u t h o r i z e the court to give such a judgment where any reasonable j u s t i f i c a t i o n i s given i n defence of the conduct impugned. B l a c k l i s t i n g . I t was a l l e g e d by counsel f o r the United Brotherhood that the Canadian P a c i f i c Company was p r i v y to a b l a c k l i s t i n g scheme, i n common wit h other r a i l w a y companies i n North America, and some evidence was given to show tha t c e r t i f i c a t e s of s e r v i c e , c a l l e d 'clearances', d i d not always f a i r l y s t a t e the cause of d i s m i s s a l . Time d i d not admit of f u l l i n v e s t i -g a t i o n i n t o t h i s matter, and the charges r e s p e c t i n g black-l i s t i n g to other r a i l w a y companies of the names of employees who had been engaged i n a s t r i k e , was v i g o r o u s l y repudiated by the o f f i c e r s of the company. - 2k0 -Hours of Labour. During the s i t t i n g s of the Commission a s t r i k e took place among the operators i n the saw-mills and pla n i n g m i l l s i n Vancouver and New Westminster, which we were asked by them t o i n v e s t i g a t e , but we were unable to do so. The demand was f o r a shortening of hours from 10 hours to 9» w i t h Saturday afternoons o f f and without r e d u c t i o n of pay, and a memorandum was handed i n to show that the produce i s s o l d on the average at about three times i t s c o s t . As the employers have not f i l e d any statement, we cannot pretend to pass on the merits of t h i s d i s p u t e , but we t h i n k that much good would r e s u l t by l e g i s l a t i o n moving i n the d i r e c t i o n of the shortening of hours. I n these days, when the human energies are s t r a i n e d t o th§r utmost amid w h i r l i n g dus t and machiners, long hours are a crime against man. The machine should be the servant of man, and not man the slave of the machine. One of the most l e g i t i m a t e modes i n which a l e g i s l a t u r e can a i d i n improving the c o n d i t i o n of the work-men i s by the shortening of hours. Of course t h i s ought t o be done g r a d u a l l y , and a f t e r c a r e f u l l y t a k i n g i n t o account the c o n d i t i o n s of the p a r t i c u l a r i n d u s t r y i n other c o u n t r i e s so as not to t r a n s f e r i t elsewhere, or d r i v e i t out of our own country. I f i t c o u l d be brought to pass that the work-man would have t o work only long enough so as t o make h i s work a pleasurable e x e r c i s e , i n s t e a d of an exhausting t o i l , - 241 -and at the same time secure a comfortable l i v i n g , s o c i e t y w i l l have advanced a long way towards the mi l l e n i u m . At the same time we f e e l q u i t e f r e e to admit t h a t , w h i l e much good can be accomplished by wise l e g i s l a t i o n , the labour problem, s o - c a l l e d , i s incapable of f i n a l s o l u -t i o n , and that i t w i l l be w i t h us as long as human nature remains what i t i s , and present c i v i l i z a t i o n endures. Dated at V i c t o r i a , t h i s e i g h t h day of J u l y , 1903, (Sgd.) Gordon Hunter, E l l i o t t S. Rowe. Commissioners. 

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