May 15, 1901

PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT.

LIB

Charles Henry Parmelee

Liberal

Mr. C. H. PARMELEE (Shefford) moved :

That the fifth report of the Joint Committee on Printing of Parliament be concurred in.

He said : The recommendations of the committee are of such importance that before this motion passes, I think I should call attention to them. The committee have spent a good deal of time in examining into the state of affairs in connection with the translation, printing and distribution of French documents. As everybody understands, this is a dual language parliament, that is to say, a parliament in which both languages are upon the same footing. For years past we have had complaints-and very reasonable complaints-of the vexatious, unreasonable delays in the printing and distribution of French parliamentary returns and reports. The committee deemed the matter of sufficient importance to make some investigation, in order to ascertain whether some reform could not be brought about which would result in the adoption of a system more creditable to this House and more satisfactory to the people.

The committee have made three recommendations. The first is to the effect that the ministers should try and get their reports out as soon as possible after the close

of the fiscal year. The present practice seems to be to delay the preparation of these reports in English until within a very few weeks before the opening of parliament. The manuscript of a very large number of these reports consequently goes to the Printing Bureau almost at the end of the calendar year, and sometimes at the beginning of the next calendar year, or six or seven months after the close of the fiscal year. The result is that the King's Printer puts the whole force of the Bureau on the printing of these documents and returns, and is able to turn them out in time for us to have them at the beginning of the session. But the defect of this system in respect of the translation, printing and distribution of the documents in French is this, that all these returns are then turned over to the translators, so that almost a year's work is put upon the translators at once, and it is utterly impossible for them to have these documents ready in reasonable time. The committee suggests that the ministers should endeavour to hurry up the preparation of their reports so as to have them ready as soon as possible after the close of the fiscal year. In the same connection, the committee have thought that some expedition might be obtained in the larger departments if each of these departments had its own special translator in the department itself, who would be handed the English manuscript copy and go on translating at once. In this way the French and English manuscript could be sent at the same time to the Printing Bureau. If that system were adopted and carried out reasonably well, the great majority of the French reports might be laid on the table at the opening of parliament just as the English reports now are.

This is a matter of principle and right, which warrants us in pressing on the House the necessity of bringing about the reform I have indicated. But I do not wish to dogmatize as to the particular way the reform should be accomplished so long as it is accomplished.

These suggestions would not be complete without some reference to the Printing Bureau. The volume of work has grown immensely within the last two years, and so rapidly that it has outrun the facilities of the bureau and rendered it necessary to provide some additions and greater facilities-

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

And more machinery.

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LIB

Charles Henry Parmelee

Liberal

Mr. PARMELEE.

And more machinery should be provided. But with regard to the latter point, the chief trouble is this, that owing to lack of room it is impossible to add any plant. i have visited the Bureau myself several times this session, and while I do not pretend to be more practical than anybody else. I find that the Bureau is too small and crowded in many departments, and is doing its work at great disadvantage.

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LIB

Charles Henry Parmelee

Liberal

Mr. PARMELEE.

Take the bindery : a good deal of the delay of which we are complaining arises from the fact that the bindery is largely incapable, owing to want of room, of handling the amount of matter that passes through it. To give an idea of the amount of work done, let me point out that in the month of March the Bureau turned out over $100,000 worth of printing in connection with parliamentary reports.

Another thing which has helped to congest the Printing Bureau is this. They keep the type of all the voters' lists of Canada standing ; and as a result there are 108 tons of type stored away in nooks and corners, which is very difficult indeed to get at when required. But if the Bureau were enlarged and put in proper shape, that would help very much not only in the distribution of the French documents, but in the handling of the copy generally, judiciously and economically. In this way, the small expense that would be incurred in getting the Bureau on a good working basis would in the end save us a great deal of money.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Have you any idea of the cost ?

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LIB

Charles Henry Parmelee

Liberal

Mr. PARMELEE.

I am not a practical builder myself, but I fancy that the addition we would require-and we might as well build for twenty or twenty-five years to come-would cost $100,000, but that I do not consider of any great importance if we can get a proper kind of establishment. In 1894 it was felt that the Printing Bureau, was not quite equal to the work it had to do. and the then government had plans prepared for an extension. Of course, w7e can understand why at that time the plan was not gone on with, and since the present government has taken office, no doubt ministers have been so busy that this matter has escaped their attention.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

No, I have thought of it many times myself.

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LIB

Charles Henry Parmelee

Liberal

Mr. PARMELEE.

I hope that as a result of our recommendations, some reasonable endeavour will be made to bring about the reforms I have indicated. As for myself, I do not care so much how these things are done provided they are done, though it has seemed to me, from the cursory investigation I have been able to make during a few weeks of this session, that these recommendations substantially lay the groundwork on which we can carry out the reform desired. I have no doubt that the reform is indeed a most urgent one. It seems to me a shame that in a parliament of this kind documents in French-which our French Canadian compatriots are as much entitled to have on time as -we are to have the English reports-should be all the way from six months to one year, and even two years, behind the publication of the latter.

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Mr. .T. H. LEGRIS@MaskinongS

(Translation.) In corroboration of the remarks just

offered by tlie bon. member for Shefford (Hr. Parmelee) in moving that the report of the Joint Committee on Printing of Parliament be concurred in, I may say that, as a matter of fact, there seems to exist a deplorable state of affairs in connection with the publication of the French reports. Allow me. Sir, in support of the complaint I have just made, to call your attention to a case of delay incident to the publication of a French report, which has occurred during this very session. I speak from experience when I state that, at the opening of the session the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Colonization, brought down last session, had not yet been printed. It seems to me a shame that in a dual language parliament, that is to say, a parliament in which both languages are upon the same footing, documents of this kind which our French-speaking compatriots are as much entitled to have on time as the English speaking ratepayers are to have the English reports, should be one year behind the publication of the latter.

Having made up my mind to trace the evil back to its source, 1 made inquiries and tried my best to find out who was responsible for that state of affairs. With this end in view, I wrote to the King's Printer, inquiring as to the cause of the vexatious and unreasonable delay in the printing and distribution of that French report. The King's Printer replied to my letter on the 7th of March, and in his communication he gives the date of the receipt of the several portions of said report at the Printing Bureau. The last portion of the copy, tnirty pages in all, was received at the Printing Bureau on the 16th of December, 1900. and as there were still left a few pages, the work could not be completed.

Such were the facts which I brought to the notice of the Joint Committee on the Printing of Parliament. Now, the members of that committee took up the matter, and on the 16th of March I received from Mr. Polkinghorne. clerk of the Printing Committee. a letter which reads as follows :-

Ottawa, Ont., March 16, 1901.

J. H. Legris, Esq., M.P.,

Chairman of Committee on Agriculture.

Dear Sir,-I am instructed by the Joint Committee on the Printing of Parliament to notify you that due inquiry was made with reference to your communication regarding the delay in the printing of the French version of the Report on Agriculture, and that owing to the non-receipt of the copy by the translator. Mr. Genand, from Mr. P. M. Draper, of the Printing Bureau, who had said copy in charge, he was unable to proceed with the translation of the last sixteen pages of the index ; the matter has, however, now been remedied and the work completed, the translation and all copy placed in the hands of the King's Printer and will no doubt be soon distributed. Yours truly,

(Signed) JOHN A. POLKINGHORNE, Clerk of Printing Committee.

As will be seen from the above letter, from the 16th of December, 1900. to the 10th of March, 1901, Mr. P. M. Draper, of the Printing Bureau, who had the copy in charge, did not deliver it to the French translator, and so Mr. Draper seems to be responsible for the delay in the printing of the French version of that report.

Now, Sir, it seems to me that the employees of the Printing Bureau should be under the control of somebody, and when they are remiss in their duty they should be held responsible for such conduct.

In this case the responsibility for the vexatious and unreasonable delay incident to the publication of that French report seems to fall upon the shoulders of Mr. Draper. Why, Sir, it was but a short time ago that the French version of the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Colonization brought down last session, was distributed. This is a report, Sir, which always proves very interesting to our French Canadian fellow-countrymen, and as I said, they are as much entitled to have that report on time as the English-speaking people are to have the English report, and it is simply intolerable that such a report should be six months or a year behind time in being printed in the French language.

For my part, I believe that apart from the recommendations presented by the Joint Committee on the Printing of Parliament, there should be some other way of remedying that state of affairs, and whenever it is shown beyond doubt that any employee of the Printing Bureau neglects his duty, he should be called to order.

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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

The suggestion of my hon. friend from Shefford (Mr. Parmelee) seems both practical and practicable, and I suppose the House will have no objection to adopting the report.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure).

As a member of the Printing Committee, I can corroborate everything that has been said toy the chairman of that committee. At almost every meeting of the committee since the beginning of the session, we have had complaints regarding the delay in the printing of the French reports. As has been said by the hon. member for Maskinonge (Mr. Legris), the report on Agriculture and Colonization was not published until nearly a year after it had been issued in English. As the hon. member for Shefford (Mr. Parmelee) has very well said, the French population are entitled to receive these reports as soon as possible after they are published in English. I believe that some progress has already been made, and much more progress could be made if the present recommendations were carried out. I understand that in the past it has been customary to farm out this translation to a number of people, many of whom were quite incompetent to do the work. Translation is a harder work than people generally believe. It takes a man well versed in both languages to be able to make a proper translation. I am informed that the present staff of translators is a com-

petent staff, and that it is in the interest of a good translation that the work should he limited to these men ; no more translation should he given out. It is the rule, so far as I can gather, that no man is employed to translate any parliamentary work until he has undergone an examination and proved himself capable to do the work that is to be assigned to him. The advantage of keeping these translators together, as they are at the present time, under the control of Hr. Cour-solles and the Speaker of this House, lies in the fact that they can help each other. If you separated them and put one into each department, they would work apart, and in many instances would not have the advantage of being able to confer with each other. If the report presented by the committee is adopted, you would have these men scattered all over the different departments. I would suggest that another method be adopted. When a man has translated the report of one department, he has gone to a great deal of trouble to acquire a knowledge of the technical expressions which are used in the various departments. If yon place that report the following year in the hands of another translator, he will have to go over all the same ground and consult a large number of technical dictionaries, and the work will not be as well done probably as it had been done previously by the man who had already acquired the necessary experience. Therefore, I beg leave to move this amendment, which I hope will be acceptable to the members of the Printing Committee, as an amendment to section 3 :

That the report of each department should be as much as possible translated by the same translator, whose duty it should he to translate from the English copy as fast as it is prepared, so that the French and English copies might go to the Printing Bureau concurrently ; and that the report as amended he concurred in.

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LIB

Robert Holmes

Liberal

Mr. R. HOLMES (West Huron).

I have no hostility to that amendment, but I desire to say a few words upon the report generally of the Printing Committee. One of the chief questions that has been before the committee this session has been the delay incident to the publication of the French report. Every one must admit that the use of the dual language calls for the issuing of the reports concurrently, if possible. But, unfortunately, that has not been possible under existing circumstances. I agree entirely with the amendment that is proposed ; but there is a clause in the report to which I think special attention should be called, that is. the necessity of increased accommodation in the Printing Bureau. I do not know how many members of the House have visited the Printing Bureau, but I think it would be in their own interest, and would enlarge their information, if they would visit the Printing Bureau and find out the conditions that exist there. I notice by the report of the King's Printer, year after year, that the present building has been found altogether inadequate for the requirements of Mr. MARCIL.

the work that is called for. In his report for 1898 he says :

The present building was designed to accommodate the business of the government as it existed in 1886. No reserve of space was provided to meet the increasing demands of a growing country. The building was filled immediately after its erection. In the meantime the country has grown. The business of the departments has greatly increased, but the facilities provided at the Printing Bureau remain unchanged in some essential particulars. The space occupied is the same ; the power of output of the press-room is the same.

The question has been asked here several times during this session, in reference to the printing of several reports, and the information has been given to the House that certain reports had to be printed outside the Bureau. The reason for that subsequently given has been that the Bureau is so crowded at the present time that it is impossible to put on any more hands ; consequently, when the reports are required with some speed and in proper time, they have to be given out in order to have them done when required. I notice, also, that the King's Printer, in his report for the current year, calls attention to the same difficulty :

The year past has been one of constant pressure at the Government Printing Bureau. Keeping pace with the rapid growth of the country and the expansion of its interests, the operations of the government are extending over wider areas and in new directions. Of necessity it follows, therefore, that there must be larger requirements upon the Bureau and a continually

increasing strain upon its resources The

Government Printing Bureau has been for years occupied to its utmost capacity. There is not room for additional hands. More hands would, in fact, produce less work because the men would be in each other's way. There has been no serious suspension of work-people in any branch since the year 1896, and the work is now beginning to overflow into outside offices The need of increased accommodation has been continually pointed out from the very first year the Bureau was opened. In 1889, the late Queen's Printer reported ' that every part of the building was occupied.'

I notice in subsequent reports that be expresses the same opinion. Now, my object in rising is to direct the attention of the House and the government to the fact that an addition to the Bureau is absolutely necessary, that if the Bureau is to meet the requirements of the House and the country, an addition should be made thereto. The composing room, the bindery, in particular, are so crowded that it is absolutely impossible for the hands that are employed there to work with that facility they would otherwise do if they had more space. It is not for me to suggest what form the addition should take, but it seems to me that there should toe, in addition to an extension of the present building, another building provided for storing certain stock they have at the Bureau at the present time. They are compelled to use an attic for storing certain formes, known technically to the printers, which I think are placed in an unsafe con-

dition, and should a fire occur, there would he no possibility of saving them. I think, therefore, the House should press upon the attention of the government the necessity of providing as speedily as possible for the demands of increased accommodation in connection with the Bureau, because increased accommodation means that the Bureau will meet the requirements of the public better than it does at the present time.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. F. CLARKE (West Toronto).

I believe every member of the committee will unite in the recommendations which have been presented by our chairman this morning. If the government desire to have the work of the different departments printed efficiently, expeditiously and economically, it is absolutely necessary that the recommendations of the committee, so far as the enlargement of the building and increased accommodation are concerned, should be carried out immediately. 1 do not think it is a satisfactory method of doing business to send the reports of the different departments elsewhere, here and there, to be printed, when we have a bureau where it is intended all this work should be done. That the equipment is sadly deficient in some respects, from the lack of space, is evident to a casual observer. I have taken the liberty on previous occasions of directing the attention of the ministry to the disgraceful accommodation given to the employees in the Bureau, and I hope, in view of the recommendations which have been ma.de this morning, and in view of the unanimity which characterized the members of the committee, and of those who have taken an interest in the work of the Bureau, that the government will make provision before the House rises for a sum sufficient to give the additional accommodation that is so urgently required. It is a fact that the accommodation in the bindery in connection with the Bureau is simply disgraceful. There is not room for one-half the operatives who are steadily employed there. I hope it will not be necessary to refer to this matter again, and that when the House meets at the next session, it will be found that the recommendations of the committee have been adopted, and that the facilities and accommodation which are so urgently required at the Bureau have been provided, so that there will be no longer any reasonable excuse for delay in bringing down the reports at the opening of the session.

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LIB

Thomas Barnard Flint

Liberal

Mr. T. B. FLINT (Yarmouth).

There is another point regarding the arrangements for carrying on the work of the Printing Bureau that is worthy of consideration. During the session of parliament there is a great congestion of work, and there is a necessity for employing a large number of additional hands, which is attended no doubt with a great deal of inconvenience and loss of time in consequence of the lack of space for that work. And when the congestion has been in a large degree overcome during the session, a number of hands have

to be dismissed, causing no doubt a great deal of inconvenience, perhaps even some distress. By the enlargement of the works and the adoption of some systematic arrangement of the business, the earlier commencement for publication of the various reports and returns, the management of the Printing Bureau can so adjust the operation of the work that there will not be this call for a large number of hands and followed by the necessity for dismissing many of them. Any hon. gentleman can see that if from one hundred to two hundred journeymen printers are suddenly thrown on the world to seek situations elsewhere, the result must be, if not actual suffering, at least great inconvenience and loss. I trust that at a future session the government will ask for such appropriations as will place the Printing Bureau on a proper and businesslike footing.

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. N. CLARKE WALLACE (West York).

It appears to me, Mr. Speaker, that the report of the committee presented by tne hon. member for Shefford (Mr. Parmelee) is a direct censure upon the government for its failure to perform its duty. The law requires that these documents shall be printed in both languages. It is a matter of the utmost importance that they should he printed promptly, for the value of many of these reports depends upon the timeliness of presentation to the House and the countiy. Take, for instance, the report of the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Trade and Navigation Returns. These reports are valuable only to the extent that they give to the people prompt information as to the trade. The business men, importers and manufacturers who are watching the trade of the country require these reports, and they require them promptly. We are told that some reports are a year, a year and a half, or even two vears behind time in being printed in the French language. But many of them are behind time being printed in English. They should not be behind time in either language. When a page of printing has to be done it does not cost any more to do it promptly

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CON
CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

The hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Clarke) tells us that it costs less, and I can quite uuderstand why that should be so. There is all the greater reason why the government, if it did its duty could present these documents to the House and the public with due promptitude. I am glad the Printing Committee has presen t ed this report, and I hope that the government will not hereafter, as they have done year after year, seek to evade their responsibility for lack of promptness in presenting these reports by making the excuse that the Printing Bureau is not able to do the work. This is no proper or sufficient excuse at all. The Printing Bureau should be sufficiently well equipped to do the work and do it quickly. And, as we are told,

tliis would mean not a greater expense but an actual saving of money, and it would give us these reports at a time when they have the greatest value, instead of at a time when their value has greatly depreciated or been entirely lost.

Amendment agreed amended agreed to.

to, and motion

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QUESTIONS.

LAND GRANTS TO RAILWAYS.

May 15, 1901