CHAMPAGNE (Wright) moved that the fourth report of the Select Standing Committee appointed to supervise the official report of the debates of this House during the present session, be now concurred in. He said : The report speaks for itself. It recommends :
1. That the salary, viz., $1,200, now paid to Mr. Wilfrid Larose for his services as Chief Translator of the Debates be increased to $2,000 per annum, It being understood that the said chief translator shall, as heretofore, be responsible for the management of the office and the making of the index to the French edition of the Debates.
2. That the present salary of $1,000 paid to each member of the staff of translators of the Debates, be increased to $1,500 per annum.
3. That the above mentioned increases date from the beginning of the present session.
As chairman of the Debates Committee, n few w'ords of explanation from myself may be required in support of the action which has been taken by the committee. These employees have been petitioning the committee for a couple of years for an increase of salary. They came before the committee last year and put their claims before us. The question was fully discussed, but it was thought advisable at that time to postpone the matter. They came before the committee again this year urging that
tiiey were entitled to an increase of salary, that the salary which was allowed them was not in proportion to the salaries given to other officers of this House, and that for all the reasons set forth in their petition, they were entitled to an increase. After having fully considered the matter, the members of the committee unanimously came to the conclusion that they were entitled to some increase. The translators asked for an increase of $1,000, which would mean a salary of $2,000 a year. The committee granted them an increase of $500, which would mean a salary of $1,500 a year; this decision was unanimously arrived at by the committee, and we now come before the House and the government asking that the necessary appropriation be made. 1 need not remind the House, Mr. Speaker, that unless exceptional reasons of a serious character can be shown to the contrary, the report of the committee ought to be adopted. I think that rule has been laid down before the House and accepted on many occasions. This committee have thought fit to recommend to the House and to the government an increase in the salary of these employees. If the government wish 1o take control of these employees, well and good, I for one as chairman of the committee would not have the slightest objection ; but so long as they remain under the control of the Debates Committee the suggestions of that committee with respect to their position ought be endorsed by the House and the government. I may perhaps be permitted to remand the House of the expression of opinion which was given on 'the subject as far back as 1884, by members of the House and members of the government, who stated at that time that these translators were deserving of more salary than they were getting. I might quote Mr. Coursol, Sir Hector Langevin and the Hon. Edward Blake, who expressed the opinion that these gentlemen were not sufficiently rewarded l or their services. Now, Mr. Speaker, I hope the government will take steps to carry the recommendation of the committee into effect. We may be told that it is rather late in the session. But I may say that in 1900 we came before the House with a report recommending that the remuneration of these translators be increased by $250 on account of the unusual length of that session. It was not then considered too late in the session to take action. The report was adopted by the House on July IT, and prorogation took place the next day. I have no doubt, that if the government desire to lie fair towards these gentlemen they wdll take the necessary means, either by inserting an item in the supplementary estimates or otherwise, to give them the increase to which we think they are entitled.