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> Issue 59 > Page 44 - Fr. Fraser Fights for the Miners, 1909

Page 44 - Fr. Fraser Fights for the Miners, 1909

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1 (340 reads)

have feelings such as he has, although not so far advanced. But per? haps the Record man will say that these miners who were in want were drunkards and blackguards, who squandered away their earn? ings. Here he is again mistaken. As a rule, no more noble more in? dustrious class of men are found than the poor miners. But, of course, every rule has exceptions, and I have no doubt that there are exceptions among them as there are exceptions among other class? es. Even among the M. P.'s and the ex-M. P. I am told on the best of authority that there are some who spend much of their precious time in similar places while in Ottawa. The Record man, moreover, is mistaken when he states that I wrote letters to strikers to cease work, and threatened them with punish? ment if they would not do so. What I have done was to advise them to hold fast together as long as they were forced to come out on strike, and to put up a gallant fight for their freedom and rights. And I still adhere to that advice, notwithstanding the censure of the Record. I claim that I have a perfect right to advise my people in everything that tends to their best interests both spiritual and temporal. They are only asking now to belong to a labor organization of their own choice, which generously offered to protect them in their grievances. And surely, this is a right never denied to anyone but an abject slave.... Regarding the Record editor's contemptible criticism concerning my giving the basement of the church to shelter poor men, women and children who were hurled out of their houses into a snowdrift, without scarcely an hour's warning, it shows his consummate lack of honor and Christian feeling. And the man who would begrudge even the worst criminal shelter under such circumstances is not worthy to be classed among human beings. • John Fraser, New Aberdeen, C. B. Letters Between Rev. Fr. John Fraser and Sir Wilfred Laurier, Prime IVIinister of Canada Private. New Aberdeen, Sept. 17, 1909. Dear Sir Wilfred • I beg leave to submit to you my impressions concerning the labor troubles here. I am living in the heart of the strike zone here and I am fully conversant with the facts and you can depend upon my telling you the truth and nothing but the truth. We boast of freedom and our liberties in Canada; but I assure you that here we do not enjoy any such blessings. The Domin? ion Coal Co. were not only satisfied to force the poor people to give up to them their farms and to reduce them to a state of slavery: but now they claim absolute dominion over their souls and bodies. They do not allow orderly and peaceful citizens to walk the streets without being molested and cast into prison. During last winter the condition of the laboring class was even worse than slavery. After all, the most miserable slave gets the necessaries of life from his master; but the employees of the Dominion Coal Co. would have starved last winter if it were not for the charity of their friends. Now they have their em- ployees practically as prisoners unable to come to mass on Sun- The One Name You Need to Know: RAHEY'S • for Comfortable Home Furnishings • for Reliable Appliances • 81 for the Latest in Electronic Technology J. R. Rahey*s Furniture Stores 1095 King's Road Sydney River 562-2500 Main Street Sydney Mines 736-9442 fAND ALSO VISIT IN SYDNEY MINES: J. R. Rahey's Jewellery Store 158 Main street • 736-6150 We've Built the Name People Trust! day and denied the spiritual consolation of their pastor in their troubles. Not only do they deny their employees the most com? mon human treatment that is seldom denied to the most misera? ble slave: but they will not allow the charitable public to offer them assistance. I wish I were near you to give you a full ac? count of the persecution and tyranny of the Dominion Coal Co. against your poor and loyal subjects here. The poor people feel that you and Premier Murray can do something for them if you only interest yourselves in their behalf. Dear Sir Wilfred I always have had the greatest confidence in you for justice and fair play and I sincerely hope that you will take steps to put an end to the most heartrending condition of affairs liere. The Coal Co. are simply ruining the future pros? pects of both the federal and provincial governments. Pardon me dear Sir Wilfred for the liberty I take in writing you con? cerning this most serious matter. I remain yours very sincerely, John Fraser P. P. Wilfred Laurier's Response Ottawa, 20th September, 1909. Dear Father Fraser, • I am in receipt of your favour of the 17th instant. Permit me to observe to you that I am somewhat taken by surprise by its con? tents, I have always understood that the strike which is now causing such injury in Sydney was based simply on the ques? tion of the recognition or non-recognition by the Company of COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL G. Landry's Vacuum Service Ltd. 1 SEPTIC SYSTEMS CLEANED INSTALLED & REPAIRED I BACKHOE BULLDOZER RENTAL I PORTABLE TOILET RENTAL & SERVICE Front Lake Rd. Sydney 564-8413 - / SERVING ALL OF CAPE BRETON ' 1 44 UtttMuUB'S CARPET & DRAPERY SPECIALISTS LTD. I our saiisjaction is guaranteed with overly years experience Complete Residential & Commercial Flooring & Quality Installation Service Featuring such fine brand names as: • Crosstey • Burlington • Richmond • Harding • Kraus • Cornet 562-5164 1670 KINGS RD. • SYDNEY RIVER
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