April 25, 1904

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I did not expect that my hon. friend (Mr. Paterson) would . be inspired with the spirit of prophecy, such as he apparently thinks would be necessary, No one imagines for one moment that he or any officer in the department, would be able to tell absolutely what changes must be made during the next fifteen months. However, as a fact, it would be only eight or nine months, because if the next session of parliament is called in the ordinary course in January he could bring down a supplementary estimate. Even for that period of eight months I do not ask him to judge of everything infallibly or to be able to prophesy, but I do ask him to show me one place where his department expects an increase of the staff or an increase of salaries to be necessary. He must know something about the present conditions. There is an estimate of what the increased revenue will amount to up to the end of the present fiscal year ; and whoever attends to that work ought to be able to give some of the information that I am asking for. My hon. friend speaks of the statistical staff, which I think he says numbers fifty-three. Has the labour of that staff been confined entirely to the work which we see in the report of the hon. gentleman's department, or have they ever endeavourd to

estimate anything of this kind We have largely increasing importations. Are there any statistics in the department which would indicate how much labour is involved in the manufacture or production of these goods ? That would be a very valuable piece of information for the public to have. Have the hon. gentleman's staff also considered whether or not any material portion of that labour might be profitably employed in Canada in the production or manufacture of those goods ? It is of course desirable to have produced in Canada all articles which we can possibly produce here. Would it not be important for his department to investigate these importations, especially in new lines of goods, with the view of judging to what extent they1 could be produced in the country ? I do not knbw whether this question has ever been taken up by my hon. friend since he has been in charge of the department, or indeed by any of his predecessors. At any rate, I should be glad to have him give the committee any information, if there be any, on that subject, and in default of that, let me know what he thinks of the suggestion.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

What the hon. gentleman refers to, so far as I apprehend his meaning correctly, is not within the scope of the, duties of the statistical branch of the Department of Customs. I think their work has been confined exclusively to compiling statistics relating to our own department. Possibly the Dominion statistician, who gets out the Year-book, may have paid some attention to that matter ; but of that I cannot speak positively, because I' have not read his book lately. The Department of Trade and Commerce keeps track of the statistics of trade with foreign countries more than we do, but I do not know that it has done anything in the direction of what the hon. gentleman suggests. As to what I think about it, I can only say in a general way that any information that can be got in relation to the trade and commerce of the country is valuable ; but I fancy there would be a good deal of difficulty in accomplishing what the hon. gentleman is seeking. For instance, all parties are agreed that raw cotton, which comes into Canada very largely, is an article that cannot be produced in this country and should therefore come in free. I presume that my hon. friend refers more to manufactured goods. That is an involved question, because a great many manufactured goods are placed on the free list or on the 5 or 10 per cent list for the purpose of promoting trade in this country and giving employment. This is the raw material from which other things are manufactured in this country, and the people engaged in that work are desirous of having it on the low scale of duties or else absolutely on the free list. So that I see difficulties in the way of getting accurate information as to the amount

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Rt. H@

We have been inquiring into it more or less. As regards the amount of labour employed hi the various industries, my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) will find in the latest census returns that this question has been Pretty fully investigated. As far as the statements made by the various manufacturers may be depended upon as to the Rffiount of raw material they use, the proportion of labour and interest oil capital and on plant, &c., the information has been fully set forth. These reports of course have not yet been placed in the hand of my hou. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) but I hope they will be in a few weeks. They give a Very large amount of information on the Object.

Mr. It. I,. BORDEN. That would be an Resistance, of course, in so far ns we manufacture in Canada articles which we also 'd'port into Canada, but in respect to Reticles which are not manufactured in this Country at all, perhaps the census returns Would not give us all the information.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

That, I think, is when me solution will come, in the census dohartment.

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Mr. R.@

l. BORDEN. It would be of no use ut all in regard to a great many articles ;

it would be of use only in respect of articles now manufactured in Canada.

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Mr PATERSON.

Precisely ; but that would be the best index you could have, a census of the various industries of the country, which would give you their raw material the number of hands employed, the total ' product, &c. Deductions could be drawn from that. I fancy, that this is work to which the Dominion statistician devotes himself. The census return would perhaps be the nearest approach you could hope to get to full information. In that way you could obtain information as to the value of the industries in the country ; you would get to know whether a certain number of men employed in a certain industry were enhancing the value of certain materials to a certain degree, and whether that enhancement in value would more than compensate for the increased labour. You could draw your deductions in that way.

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Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

You might get assistance from the Department of Trade and Commerce. Then there are I suppose permanent officers in connection with the census.

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LIB

Richard John Cartwright (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT.

My hon. friend's suggestion seems to me a very good one to have carried out. I would submit to him that it could be better done by establishing a certain branch in connection with the census department.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Curiously enough,

I was about to make the same suggestion. .

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LIB

Richard John Cartwright (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT.

It is well worthy of consideration.

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Vol. I.@

I was going to make exactly the suggestion the Minister of Trade and Commerce has made. You have to organize the census staff every ten years. At present you have it in apparently a very unorganized condition, although of course our views may be prejudiced. You have not had it very well organized during the past three years, but I shall pass over that as I do not wish to make this matter controversial. If you had a department of this kind which would be continually investigating these subjects from year to year you would be much more likely to have an efficient staff when the time comes round, at the end of the next ten years, to take the census. Because, these will be trained men, accustomed to work of this kind and they might be made heads of different branches of the census staff when the time comes for < 1 o i i i - - the work at the end of ten years. And the work in the meantime would be of the greatest service to the country, if we intend to maintain a tariff which affords protection to our manufacturers. I trust the Minister oi Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright) as well as the Minister of Customs (ME Paterson) will give this serious con-slderation.

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LIB

Richard John Cartwright (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT.

Personally, I am very well disposed towards the hon. gentleman's suggestion, if it appears to our colleagues that it can be carried out for a reasonable sum. It is more especially desirable because, as the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) knows, we have to take the census in the Northwest Territories every five years.

Mr. SPROTJLiE. It seems to me that we have hardly all the information that ought to be given us on this item. We have not the basis of calculation on which the minister concludes that he will require $25,000 more. He tells us that the customs collections have increased and that the importations have increased, but he has not told us what relationship this additional expenditure bears to the increase in the work. I suppose that the majority of the officers are remunerated by a yearly salary. In that case the minister ought to be able to judge at which ports the increase of business makes the increase of salaries necessary. Or the minister ought to be able to tell us what class of officers are to receive increases. No doubt, a part of this increased vote would be required for contingencies which cannot be exactly foreseen, but the bulk of it must be for salaries to men of certain classes or in certain places. This information the minister ought to give us. He must have made some sort of calculation to reach the conclusion that $25,000 will be necessary, and we would like to know what he bases that calculation upon.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

Well, for instance, in the port of Montreal, a very large port, as the hon. gentleman knows, we are meditating a change. The clerks making the entries in what is called the ' long room ' have been there a considerable time. But the salaries have not been uniform. Some of these men have been bearing the title of landing waiter or preventive officer, and so on. They have been doing work inside, but at salaries which they consider insufficient. Therefore, they asked to have a share of extra hours. The hon. gentleman knows that extra services used to be rendered by certain officers to shipping and railway companies and the officers remunerated by these companies. But last year the sanction of the committee was asked to a change under which the government would pay all that was paid to its officers. The clerks in the long room claimed that their salaries were not enough to maintain them properly, so they asked for a share of that night work or overtime. But we have not thought it desirable that they should do other work. Their work is important-receiving the entries of the merchants. Despatch is needed and correctness also ; and in this work the revenue is directly involved. We have concluded that, if a clerk puts in his time from 0 a.m. to 4 p.m., as a rule, his mental energies will have been taxed enough for that day. It is proposed Mr. R.-L. BORDEN.

now to increase the salaries in this department, so as to pay $900 as a minimum, and to require these officers not to work extra hours or share in the extra pay.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROUBE.

How much will be required for that in the port of Montreal ?

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LIB
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William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

What the hon. gentleman says is quite correct. I think three at [DOT]east of our officers at Winnipeg if not more have left during the year.

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LIB

April 25, 1904