February 7, 1905

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

Does the hon. minister make provision for salaries in the Bill ?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

There is no provision for expenditure in the Bill. The Bill authorizes the department to incur certain expenses, but it does not indicate the amount. And, as I understand, it is only in that case that the question of proceeding by resolution arises.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I thought there was a clause in the Bill relating to the payment of money.

I find that subsection 2 of section 42 provides :

Such remuneration or allowances, and all expenses incurred in carrying this Act into effect, shall be paid out of such moneys as are provided by parliament for that purpose.

But, without any desire to retard the progress of this measure, the point I wish to make is that the minister has stated that officers would be employed to carry out the provisions of this Act. Of course, these officers will have to be paid. I think, therefore, it is only fair to raise the point of order, which I do. I think we had better adhere to tlie old rule and have the Bill founded upon resolutions previously adopted by the House. An hon. friend draws my attention to tlie fact that section 4 of the Bill provides that one or more enumerators are to be appointed for every census sub-district. This must involve expense. I think we cannot surround these enactments providing lor the appointment of officials and the incurring of expense with too many precautions. The procedure I have suggested is according to the old traditions of the House.

Mr. FISHER, I quite agree with my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) that we cannot surround the expenditure of public money with too many safeguards. Had I supposed for a moment that this Bill required it 1 would have proceeded by resolution. I do not profess to be an authority on questions of procedure, but I would point out that the clauses to which my hon. friend refers are already in existence in the laws which are being consolidated by this Bill. I grant that under this Bill, there would be authority given for paying more than was paid under the old Acts. At the same time, the existing law does provide for the expenditure of money for the purpose of gathering statistics and carrying on a good deal of the work contemplated under this Bill. .Therefore, if 1 may put it in that way, I think it is a mere question of degree and not a question of new expenditure. And I would point out that the expenditure under this Bill, of course, must he authorized by vote in the estimates when we reach that stage. I think my hon. friend's position is not tenable, but I must submit to the decision of the committee on that point.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Peter White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE.

As I understand it the hon. minister proposes by this Bill, to repeal the Acts to which he has just referred. Of course, I do not know how it is proposed to pay these officers, but if it is proposed to make their salaries a charge on the public revenue, it seems to me clear that this measure ought to be proceeded with by resolution.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I would appeal to the experience of my hon. friend from North Renfrew (Hon. Peter White), who has had a great deal of experience in these matters, that the rule is that when a Bill is proposed, the chief object of which is the expenditure of public money it must be introduced by resolution. But when a Bill is promoted the chief object of which is not the expenditure of public money, but in which the expenditure is an incident, it may be introduced directly, but the clauses which provide for the expenditure of public money must be introduced by resolution.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

My attention lias been very forcibly drawn to this distinction in connection with the Bill which the government will have to introduce for the admission of certain provinces into the confederation. When Manitoba was admitted as a province in 1870, the measure was introduced by Sir John Macdonald in the form of a Bill. Of course, there are certain clauses of the Act which provide for heavy charges upon the public treasury-the subsidy to the province for instance. Concurrently with the introduction of the Bill or subsequently to it, resolutions will be introduced to provide for the financial part of the measure.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Peter White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE.

When a Bill is introduced any Clauses of which refer to a charge upon the public treasury, the practice is that these clauses shall be printed in italics or inclosed in brackets so that members of the House may be appraised of their nature, and these clauses should not be discussed until after the resolutions have been introduced providing for these expenditures.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear, hear. Let me put this question to my hon. friend : Does not lie think that the committee could deal with the Bill, and, when we come to any clause involving the expenditure of public money, it could bp passed over and left for future discussion ?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Peter White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE.

I would not like to give an opinion upon that subject ; but I think that the House should be apprised, by the sections being printed in italics or inclosed in brackets that resolutions must be introduceu before those sections can be proceeded with

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I think that the course suggested by my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) and supported by my hon. friend from North Renfrew (Mr. Mr. FISHER.

White) is the one that has always been followed. I remember a case arising three or four years ago though I cannot cite the name of the Bill at this moment. The Bill was introduced, but the discussion of the money clauses was postponed until resolutions had been passed in committee p-o-viding for the charge upon the public revenue.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Marcil (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

I think that, as the point raised is a most important one, I would beg leave to reserve my decision until to-morrow.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON
LIB

Charles Marcil (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

I suggest that a motion be made, and the Bill be reported to the House.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The minister might go on with the rest of the explanations.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

If the point is pressed, it might be advisable simply to reserve the sections.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

There is no objection to continuing the explanations.

Mr. OiSLER. Could the minister state in general terms what is likely to be the annual cost of this project ?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

That would depend largely on tiie amount of information obtained from year to year. I think myself that would grow. I am satisfied that as the public get the information they' will ask for more and more of it, and I have no doubt that within a few years the cost will be considerably greater than what I now contemplate-I want to give fair warning of that. But my own intention is to commence on a comparatively small scale, as it is found desirable, taking at first those subjects concerning which information is most likely to be asked for by the public. I would not like at the moment to venture a figure of tiie probable cost. This current year, including what is paid out of civil government and two or three votes for general statistics and criminal statistics, the cost will amount to a little under $20,000 in the year. That is what is appropriated by parliament at. the present time, and which would be included for the work we propose to carry on under the new law. But if general returns are made it would involve a considerable increase. I should think that, roughly speaking, next year I would have to ask nearly double, that is to say, it would add something like $15,000 a year to the present expenditure. The expenditure this year is a little over $18,500. I think we would have to provide for an expenditure the next fiscal year of fully $35,000. It might be a little over that, but I think I am safe in saying that $40,000 would cover the expenditure for a number of years to come.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Does tlie minister intend taking up any of the work in the statistical line which is now being carried out chiefly by the Department of Trade and Commerce. They are issuing statistical statements, and have a staff who are engaged upon that work. I do not know but that the Customs Department is doing something in the same line. Does he propose to amalgamate those with the statistical branch which he is creating?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I have no intention of taking away from the other departments the work th'ey are doing. If this work develops in the way I hope, I think all statistical work connected with the government service, so far as it deals with compilation, had better be done in one office. So far as the collection of information is concerned, some departments may have facilities for collecting certain classes of information which, if I were to undertake to do it in my department, would require the creation of new machinery, which would to a certain extent duplicate existing machinery.

I would expect that the officers of the permanent census office would as far as possible get information from other branches of tlie service, making use of the information gathered by those other branches. But there is a good deal of census information which to-day is not procured by any department, and we would devote ourselves largely to obtaining that information.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
Permalink

February 7, 1905