September 28, 1903

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

It has been stated in the public press that some two or three members of the cabinet are anxious to take the place of our present high commissioner in London, as it is said that Lord Strathcona is about to retire. I trust there is no truth in that rumour. What has the Minister of Finance to say about it ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I quite understand that my hon. friend (Mr. Hughes) realizes that we cannot afford to lose the valuable services of the present ministers.

I sympathize with his feelings in that respect. I may say that Lord Strathcona was in Ottawa a few days ago, and those who met him will agree with me that he was about the liveliest specimen of a high commissioner one would wish to find. I do not think he has any desire to retire from the office, and I may say that the government of Canada has no other desii'e than that he should long be spared to discharge the duties which he so worthily discharges at present.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

What the Minister of Finance said about Lord Strathcona is endorsed by every member of this House, and by the people of Canada as well. As to not being able to spare any of the present ministers; it was a question of deserting the 'unking ship.

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LIB
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

And some of them are going on the bench.

Superintendence of insurance, $9,840.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

This sum is met by a tax levied on the insurance companies which covers the whole cost of this branch of the department, so that it really is not a charge on the funds of the country.

I am proposing however to make a special increase in the salaries of two gentlemen in the department. One is Mr. Blackadar, who is the actuary of the department, and I propose to increase his salary from $2,400 to $2,800. Mr. Blackadar is an officer of very high standing in his profession, and I have the means of knowing that he has had very strong inducements to leave the service and go into the employment of some of the large insurance companies. He is a very capable officer, and he is really making a sacrifice in remaining in the service of the government at a salary we propose to pay him. The other officer whose salary it is proposed to increase is Mr. M. D. Grant. He is a younger gentleman and more recently in the service, but he is a most capable officer, and he is worth more than we are giving him. We will be obliged within the near future to further increase the salary of this gentleman.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Yes. The insurance companies would be willing to pay these gentlemen these salaries and 1 think more.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

I would point out also, that the officers of the geological

survey are not paid as well as they should be, especially in view of the fact that they could throw up their jobs here and get much better pay outside.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

There is no doubt that with regard to our higher officers, as well as some of these technical officers, they could get much better pay in private employment than they are paid in the public service. I think myself we could give these gentlemen a much more liberal allowance without doing any injustice to the public service. I speak from personal knowledge when I say that we are losing from the public service of Canada, valuable men, because we are not able to pay them anything like the sums they can earn in private employment.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

We have not been doing it. We are making some amendments in the Bill which has been introduced by the Postmaster General ; but .even in the face of these higher salaries, [DOT]I am afraid that we shall have some difficulty in keeping some of the higher classes ,of men in the service.

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I would like to have some *information in regard to the deposits of the .insurance companies-what our Canadian .companies have to deposit, whether their .deposits are as large as those of foreign companies, and whether British companies are put on the same footing as American companies ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I shall be very glad to see that a memorandum on these points is brought for the information Of my hon. friend.

Plant for Printing Bureau, $5,600.

i The MINISTER OF FINANCE. This is the annual grant to the Printing Bureau, to cover ordinary wear and tear.'

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I understand that a .very large printing press was purchased fiot very long ago. Has that been paid for ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I think .that there was a large grant last year to cover that special expenditure.

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LIB

Charles Avila Wilson

Liberal

Mr. WTILSON.

I understand that there *is a very large amount of printing done outside of the Bureau. If that is the case I .would like to know whether the Government .intend to enlarge the Bureau so as to have all the printing done there ; also, whether .they can get it done more cheaply in their own establishment than they can outside ? ,1 think there were complaints for a considerable time that the Bureau was not at all adequate to do the work that has to be done for the government and parliament,

Mr. HUGHES (Victorial.

and I think we ought to have some ex-j planation as to what the government propose to do.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I would be glad to get any information which the hon. gentleman desires. I may say that it is not the present intention of the government to enlarge the Bureau. We have no appropriation for that purpose in the present year. .

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CON

September 28, 1903