March 20, 1903

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I know that perfectly well. What I complain of is that the theoretical organization of the department has been changed and there ought to be some grave reason for doing that. There are less in the third class, five more in the second class and one more in the first class. There ought to be some reason for that change other than favouritism.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

All these changes have been made on account of length of service, increased duties and efficiency. The hon. gentleman will not stand in the way of promotion for merit.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Yes 1 do. The country requires a certain staff for a certain organization and because a clerk is efficient and has attended to his duties is no reason why there should be a larger organization than is absolutely necessary to carry on the business of the country.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

If there are a number of young men as junior second class clerks, getting small salaries, and if they are promoted to a higher rank because of merit, surely my hon. friend (Mr. Hag-gart) would not object to that.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I insist that the first duty of the government is to see that tlie organization necessary for carrying on a department should not be increased. That is all the organization that is required for the efficiency of the department, and the government are not justified in unnecessarily increasing the organization even if it be for the purpose of increasing the salaries of deserving clerks.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

The expression ' increasing the organization ' would convey that the number of clerks has been increased, but as the bon. gentleman knows there is only one additional clerk. It is not to be expected that a number of meritorious young men are always to stay at the same salary. Surely if the minister sees that some of these young men who have made excellent clerks are at small salaries for a number of years he ought be able to promote them.

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

I wish to ask when was Mr. Bollard appointed in the department ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

He was appointed in 1884.

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LIB
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

Yes.

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

Was he not sent to the Yukon for some time ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I am informed that he never was sent to the Yukon.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Are there any statutory increases included in this increased vote ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I am informed that in every case where a clerk was eligible for the statutory increase it has been granted to him.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Are we to understand that the Postmaster General and his friends have receded from the position they took at one time, viz., that no statutory increases should lie given, or are these increases given under the system adopted .by this present government on recommendations made by the favourites of the department ? When the government took office they set their face against statutory increases except as a matter of grace on the part of the minister for the time being. Has the Postmaster General abandoned that policy and will the civil servants in future receive their statutory increase under the Civil Service Act, as they did in the past ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

In all these cases the services of the clerks were such as to entitle them to these increases. The labourer is worthy of his hire and is being paid accordingly. My hon. friend (Mr. Clancy) will not. object to our taking advantage of this privilege in the law to ask parliament for this vote.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

The hon. gentleman has given a beautiful explanation. I asked him if he had abandoned the policy of refusing to give statutory increases unless it suited the sweet will of the minister, and he evaded that question. Now let me ask him again : Has the government abandoned the system they found in operation when they came into power and which was that unless there Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

was some substantial reason why a civil servant should not receive his statutory increase he was entitled to it by law.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

We propose to give an increase to those who are deserving of it. If my hon. friend (Mr. Clancy) can show that these men are not entitled to their increase we will be glad to hear from him about it.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

It is scarcely worthy of a minister of the Crown to give such an answer as that. The minister is bound to give this committee all reasonable information, and he has not the right to ask a member on either side of the House to show cause why a civil servant was or was not entitled to an increase. I was going to say that the hon. minister was ' dodging ' the question, but although that might be substantially true it may not be parliamentary. I trust the Postmaster General will give all reasonable information to this committee as lie is bound to do.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I do not kuow what more I can say. The government are proposing to give these increases to the officers named because they deserve them. There is the statute and there are the officers, and we are exercising the privilege which the statute confers upon us.

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March 20, 1903