CANADA AND THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION
"The nations of the world by the Peace Treaty have adopted principles which until now were but ideals. As Canada is just entering the stage of greatest development, we have an opportunity unique among the nations for growth in harmony with those new principles." (From the report of the Royal Commission on Industrial Relations, Canada, 1919.)
IN beginning this study of the development of Canadian legislation in the fields covered by the nine methods and principles of the Labor Section of the Treaty of Versailles, it will be necessary to outline the Labor Section of the Treaty, to give the salient facts concerning the establishment of the International Labor Organization and to trace briefly its history, especially in its bearing on Canada. As the study proposes to show the extent to which Canadian labor legislation has conformed to the international standards adopted at Versailles, it will be essential to indicate the interpretation placed upon them by the draft conventions and recommendations of the International Labor Conferences.
The Covenant of the League of Nations pledged the signatory powers to the improvement of labor conditions by international regulation. Article 23 of the Covenant states:
Subject to and in accordance with the provisions of international conventions existing or hereafter to be agreed upon, the members of the League will endeavor to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions of labour for men, women and children, both in their own countries and in all countries to which their commercial and industrial relations extend, and for that purpose will establish and maintain the necessary international organizations.