I did not know these officers when I took office, as I do now. When you have appreciated a man and know his work and give him an increase of salary, you encourage him. Mr. Routhier is a relatively young
It seems to me improvident to make these men depend upon a yearly vote for the remuneration of their services. Would it not be better to fix their salaries instead of leaving them doubtful every year ?
So far as the heads of departments are concerned, it would be better to provide a large salary. The fixed salary of the chief engineer is $3,200. Mr. Lafleur only receives $3,000, although doing good work. He is
able, sober, active and always ready. I am afraid he is not paid enough. My views may not be shared by everybody, but I feel that the good men are not paid as they ought to be. My hon. friend knows that in Montreal we could not get a first-class engineer for that amount of money.
That has been the practice of all governments in Canada-to pay the men engaged on this 'scientific branch pretty fair wages, but without superannuation, and with the understanding that they are liable to dismissal at any time. It was thought that in that way we could get the most efficient people.
Has the minister had time to consider the case of Mr. Johnston, the military college engineer who died ? I see that no provision is made here for a gratuity. Also, has he had time to consider the case of the architect, Mr. New-Iands, to which I called attention some days ago ?
I think the statement presented in the estimates is a very misleading one. It does not show that under these three heads of temporary assistants, chief architect's office and chief engineer's office, there are increases of salaries, wholesale increases. So, of course, we have no means of judging whether the increases are justifiable or not. But, one thing is clear, increases ought to follow some certain rule. In the main estimates, the amount voted for temporary clerical and other assistance was $25,000. and here, under these estimates, we have an additional amount of $11,000, making a total of $30,000. For the chief architect's office, the amount in the main estimates was $22,700, and now we have an addition of $9,500, or a total of $32,200. For the chief engineer's office, we voted, in the main estimates, $49,000, and here is an increase of $9,500, making a total of $58,500. That is to say, for the temporary assistance, engineering staff and architect's staff, we are voting a total of $126,700. For these three services we voted in the main estimates $96,000, and now we are adding over $30,000. This is on a par with the extravagant and wasteful expenditure of the government in every department of the public service. For clerical engineering and architect's staff, last year, we voted salaries of $96,700, which we may safely assume was a large increase over former years. And now we are adding over $30,000.