We have obtained that much information from the hon. gentleman -there is a statute. The hon. gentleman disregarded the statute in the past. I would like to ask on whose recommendation these increases were made.
It is not a case of a man entering the service as a junior and spending several years before reaching his present position. He got 82,000 at the time of his appointment, and I am informed that the minister thought he should remain at that salary for a short time until it would be wise to recommend an increase.
There is no rule on the subject. He was appointed a chief clerk and law officer, a more or less technical position, at 82,000. There is no question of being entitled until parliament votes the money. Since his apointment he was recommended for one increase which made his salary 82,050, and he is now recommended for another.
The point I want to get at is if these increases are to be given by a sliding scale, who has a right to recommend them from year to year ? There surely ought to be some principle governing these cases.
I suppose the increase should be based either on merit or take place automatically. I think the view of this government is that there should be an exercise of judgment on the part of the minister in the case of high-priced officers. In the case of low-priced officers, I think, expressing my own opinion, that the increase should be given automatically, unless a man disqualifies himself from receiving it. You can hardly compare the case of a law clerk with the case of a secretary performing a different class of work altogether. Each case should be judged on its own merits.