May 6, 1902

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 160) to incorporate the Dominion Association of Chartered Accountants.-Mr. Belcourt. Bill (No. 158) to incorporate the Union Life Insurance Company.-Mr. Ingram.


SALARIES OF THE FRENCH TRANSLATORS OF THE DEBATES.

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Mr. L. N.@

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.

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Mr. A. A. C.@

LaRIVIERE (Provencher). Mr. Speaker, this question of the indemnity

which is allowed to the translators is not a new one, because I remember very well that for the last ten or twelve years, or since I have been a member of the Debates Committee, this same question has been brought to our attention. Though the committee felt they would be justified in recommending an Increase of salary to these gentlemen at a time, I may say, when the work performed by some of them was not satisfactory, the committee did not take action on account of a certain element that then was on the Board of Translators, and on account of the dissatisfaction which they had created by the work they were performing. The whole board, I may say, has since been reorganized. We have now men who are perfectly qualified to do the work, who do the work and do it well. The fact of the matter is that for two or three years we have had a translation that is remarkably good and very acceptable to hon. members. The committee, having looked into the matter, have thought that now was the time to do justice to these gentlemen. What are they recommending 5 The committee are recommending that these gentlemen should be paid on an average the sum of $1,500. which is not beyond the maximum salary of a second class clerk. I believe that this House will be generous enough to pay these men, who are all men of high standing in literature, at least a salary equivalent to that of a second class clerk employed by the government or by this House. I believe, Sir, that though this may appear to be a pretty stiff increase, the committee has thought proper to fix at once such an indemnity to be given to these gentlemen as that they would not come back next year or the year after for a further increase. We want to settle the question for once and for all, and I think we have done so. I hope that the government and the House will approve of the work of the committee and adopt the report which is now placed before them.

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LIB

Thomas Barnard Flint

Liberal

Mr. FLINT.

May I ask the hon. member for Wright (Mr. Champagne) if this is tile unanimous report of the committee ?

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LIB
CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Mr. Speaker, I can corroborate the statement made by the hon. chairman of the Debates Committee (Mr. Champagne) that it was the unanimous opinion of the committee, in view of the quality of the work that is now being done by these gentlemen, that an increase should be made in their remuneration. Those who are competent to speak upon the subject say that the work is being better done now than ever before, and more promptly as well, and in view of what has been said by the hon. gentlemen who have just spoken and of the opinion that has prevailed for many years on the part of the committee that these gentlemen are Mr. LaRIVIERE.

not paid an adequate remuneration for the work they perform, I think it would be very reasonable to make the increase which the committee have asked the House to make. I hope hon. gentlemen will see their way clear to support this report recommending an increase in the remuneration of these gentlemen.

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

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter which is more in the hands of the House than it is in the hands of the government. The House has thought proper, and with good reason, to keep in its own hands everything in connection with the reporting of the debates of the House. The reporting is not done under the supervision of the government; it is done directly under the supervision of the House through a committee which is appointed every year for that purpose. The government have no wish to offer any opposition to this recommendation, but the government will be bound to consider carefully the report of the House and give it the proper authority. I may say, personally for myself, as a member of this House, that the present committee which has undertaken for a number of years back to supervise the debates of the House, has done it in a manner that has reflected great credit upon itself. The translation of the debates some years ago was very inadequate, but the committee has adopted a new system altogether, by introducing the competitive system into the appointments. Appointments are not made now for political reasons. They are just made upon merit. Whenever a vacancy occurs applicants are called upon by the committee to pass an examination, and the most successful competitor gets the reward.

Mr. LaRIVIERE. Hear, hear.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

This has done a great deal to improve the translation of the debates. I remember that some years ago it was an annual complaint on the part of the French members that they could not get their reports, and that when they came they were not only late but they came in a very imperfect manner. This year I have not heard a single word of complaint and not only have I not heard any complaint, but there could not be a word of complaint, because, from my own personal knowledge of the translation, it is very well done. I do not think that it could be better done in the short space of time which the staff has to do it in. They are keeping to the point and they are now doing the work in time. They are never behind. For all these considerations, for my part, I would be very glad to favour the adoption of the report. I may say, however, that I am afraid we could not give for this session the desired increase. We are, as we hope, within a few days of prorogation, the estimates are all prepared and

in the hands of the printer to be introduced here at a very early date and it would be extremely awkward and perhaps would retard the blessed day of prorogation if we were to reopen them for this question. With this suggestion and with these observations, I have no objection that the report should be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

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FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 161) respecting the incorporation of Joint Stock Companies by letters patent.- Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier.


MANITOBA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.


The MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 162) to amend the Manitoba Grain Act, 1900.


CON

Nathaniel Boyd

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYD.

I would like the hon. gentleman to give us an explanation in regal'd to the changes.

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The MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.

The Bill is simply intended to bring the funds under the control of the department. We have had a good deal of trouble hitherto owing to there being a deficiency in the funds. Various demands have been made on the consolidated revenue fund to make good the accounts in connection with the working of the Act.

I do not think that will occur again under the present regulations. The money will go into the consolidated revenue fund and be distributed in the ordinary way. That is the only provision that I have introduced, hut there will be certain amendments, of which due notice will be given, of a more important character brought up when the Bill takes its second reading. At the present, I am merely introducing the Bill that is printed and of which notice is given.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


MEDICAL COUNCIL IN CANADA.

CON

Thomas George Roddick

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. G. RODDICIC (Montreal, St. Antoine).

Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called I should like to ask my right hon. friend, the First Minister (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) whether he has any announcement to make to the House in reference to the further consideration of Bill (No. 11) for the establishment of a medical council in Canada. It will he remembered that this Bill was withheld after passing through the committee stage^ with the exception of one clause, at the distinct request of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister. I am very anxious if possible to proceed with the Bill now, because I

understand that if it does not reach the Senate to-day or at the latest to-morrow, it will be impossible to have it become law during the present session.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

I am most anxious to oblige my hon. friend (Mr. Roddick) and I will try to give him an opportunity of moving his Bill to-morrow, in the [DOT] evening. I hope the business of the House will be such as to warrant it, and if both sides desire it of course I shall raise no objection.

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May 6, 1902