May 26, 1905

L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

So far as the whips secretaries are concerned, they are overworked now!. Owing to their position they are called upon to work long hours, and a lot of work is imposed upon them. I think a great deal of this is due to the fact that members do not think they have a right to ask the ordinary sessional clerks to typewrite documents, and so the whips' secretaries are called uj>on to do the work. If it were better understood that sessional clerks generally could be called upon for that class of work, it would relieve these other officers of much of the work they are now called upon to do.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

While I indicated that it is probably the right of members to avail themselves of the services of these officers, it must be apparent that with perhaps twenty clerks available, if 215 members exercise that right to any great extent, it would be impossible for these men to do much else than serve the members of the House. Of course, such work could only be expected of them when they have time to do it, and that can be ascertained by application to the chief of the staff. But where these clerks have the time, I do not see why their services should not be availed of in that way. The chief of the staff will see to it, I suppose, that they are not required to work too many hours in the discharge of their duties.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

It seems to me that Mr. Speaker went a long way when he authorized the use of sessional clerks to assist in the private correspondence of members. I do not know where we should end if we began that. It seems to me that either we have too many clerks, or we have not enough, or we have not the right kind. The work of a working member of this House is very arduous. He has a large private correspondence that he is bound to take care

of. Then he has a large correspondence of a public nature that he has to take care of. Then, there is the work of the House. My own experience is that, as compared witli what it was fifteen or twenty years ago, the work of this House is very much increased. The multiplicity of things that claim our attention, the rapid succession in which new questions are forced upon us, make it arduous drudgery for even the best man to keep even with the work of the House. One almost feels like giving it up in despair and deciding to run the chance of making what show he can in the House with as small a modicum of work as possible. In some legislative assemblies they give every member a clerk or amanuensis. That seems extravagant at first blush, and it is certainly expensive. But to give each member a clerk or secretary may not in some respects be any more than the public man who gives his work to the House and country is entitled to. But we have not yet come to that, and it must be a good while before we will come to it.

But I think it is possible that if we had a staff of sessional clerks, the right men, competent, varied in their ability to work, stenographers, quick at summaries, calculating definitely and well, and doing their work so that it can be thoroughly relied on-I think there is a class of work that a moderately large number of clerks of the right kind could do for members, under the direction even of the clerk of the House, or of a director of the staff, divided so that it will be perfectly fair and even for both sides of the House, and all members of the House, a class of work that they might do with advantage to public business. Now something like this for instance : There was laid on my desk to-day six different returns with reference to certain subjects. Now, when I saw them my heart sank; I said to myself : How ever am I going to get through with that, analyse it and bring it here in the course of ten days or so, ready for the discussion which we have invited upon it ? For instance, it is relating to a matter which we were discussing to-day and yesterday. Now it would not be a partisan thing, I think, and it would be a public benefit, and would do a great deal to help the working members of the House, if, when a return like that comes down, they knowing what kind of information they want to get from it, a tabulation, were just to write a little memorandum of the tabulation they wanted in that return, and hand it over to a competent sessional clerk and have him make that tabulation. It would not be a partisan piece of work, you are not directing him as to what he shall say against the government or for the government, you are after a certain tabulation out of all these returns. I do not know whether I will ever get that done myself, if I have to do it. But there is a species of work which I

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should think a competent staff of sessional clerks could do, and do fairly well, and could alleviate the members of this House, for the public good and the public service. But if you come to say that we will have clerks here who will take up the private correspondence of members, I am afraid that we will go so far in that direction that it will simply become an impossibility, and will end in a worse state of affairs than we have to-day. But I would like, Mr. Speaker, and the clerk of the House to think it over, and see whether we can have, say, 25 or 30, or more if necessary, thoroughly good, first-class men, typewriters, stenographers, summarists, men who know just how to take hold of papers and give you a summary that you require out of them, and have them under competent direction and distribution to do work of that kind for the working members of the House. That is a thing which I think we might improve upon, because otherwise it comes to this, that even the best workers of the House, appalled by the tremendous amount of labour they have put upon them in order to get through the work, will fall behind hand in their work, and the public interests will suffer in that respect.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

It will be apparent that the class of men the hon. gentleman refers to would have to be a superior class of men, and probably we would require to pay them a little more than we pay the present staff. Any one can see at once with what great utility they would serve various members of the House. The clerk of the House and myself will take the matter up and see if we can make some suggestion, at all events, to the House to be dealt with at some future day.

Leather trunks, 240 at $25 each, $6,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

How is that thing carried out ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

According to a report of the Joint Committee on printing.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Who makes the trunks ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The contract is on tender, I understand, given out by the Printing Committee.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Is value got for these trunks ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
Permalink
LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

They seem to be very good.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

Tenders were invited, and two houses tendered. They brought in some samples which were examined by a special committee of the Printing Committee and were found satisfactory. The contracts were given to two houses, and the members were invited to go and choose for themselves which house they should get their trunks from.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock. PRIVATE BILLS.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.
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FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.


House again in committee on Bill (No. 144) to incorporate the Fessenden Wireless Telegraph Company of Canada.-Mr. Geof-frion. On sections 11 and 12,


CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

When we last had this Bill under discussion clauses 11 and 12 were allowed to stand because there was a proposal made by the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) to add a word. I did not take upon myself at that time to accept the suggestion, because I was only acting for the promoter of the Bill, but since then I have been authorized by the hon. member for Chambly and * Vercheres (Mr. Geoffrion), who is in charge of this Bill, to accept the suggestion of the hon. Minister of Finance. Section 11 reads like this : The company may enter into any

agreements with any government, and if I remember well the proposal of the Minister of Finance was to add the word ' Canadian ' so that it would have nothing to do with any foreign government. I therefore beg to move :

That the word ' Canadian ' be inserted before the word ' government' in the second line of section 11.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MTJLOCK.

Is that word going to qualify * corporation ' and ' person ? '

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

The difficulty the other day was that in not mentioning which government was intended it might mean a foreign government, although I understand it means either this government or a provincial government, and the hon. Minister of Finance proposed, so that there should be no doubt about it, to put in the word ' Canadian ' before the word ' government.' 1 move to insert the same word in section 12.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MTJLOCK.

Would it not be better to say ' any government in Canada ? '

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

It is only a matter of phraseology ; that is the meaning of it. By putting in the word ' Canadian government ' it serves also the purpose of qualifying the word ' corporation ' or ' person.'

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

If it is intended to give the company power to enter into agreements with the governments of any of the provinces, I think the expression ' Canadian government ' is not very appropriate.

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
Permalink
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

How would it do to say ' with any Canadian government ?'

Topic:   SUPPLY-HALF-BREED SCRIP.
Subtopic:   FESSENDEN WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF CANADA.
Permalink

May 26, 1905