June 5, 1905

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

That is not necessary. A good many of the officers have passed the civil service examinations. Until recently, the Auditor General informs my deputy, he never considered that that vote came under the Civil Service Act, and it was only during the present fiscal year that he informed my deputy that he had changed his mind, and having looked into the matter, thought that it ought to be subject to the Civil Service Act. If I was beginning work in that branch now I would only appoint men who had passed the Civil Service examination and who would consequently be subject to the Act. But before this information was given to me, some people were appointed, and some have been a long time in the service who had not passed the examination, and if this vote was taken as subject to the Civil Service Act these men would have to step out, and I would have to find others who had passed the examination. I could not give my hon. friend off-hand the details now, but I think if $5,000 of that $20,000 was allowed to be expended without the restrictions of the Civil Service Act, it would be quite sufficient, perhaps $3,000 would be sufficient.-

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I do not desire to see old officers lose their positions because of a change in the ruling of the Auditor General ; at the same time, I do not want to make the whole of the archives possibly outside of the Civil Service Act, as it would be if you made that amendment apply to the total vote. I wanted to know if the minister could specify the amount of the salaries that would be affected by the ruling of the Auditor General, or the names of the officers.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I could not say at the moment ; but I am sure that $5,000 out of the $20,000 would be sufficient.

Mr. FOSTER, The minister thought $3,000 might be enough.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I got $3,000 the other day in my supplementaries for this year, free from that restriction, but my deputy tells me he thinks it would hardly be enough for the whole of the ensuing fiscal year.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Does the Auditor General's ruling affect all the salaries for 1904-5?

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LIB
LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Then I imagine that $3,000 would cover it all, because you have probably got enough to cover it for the year.

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?

Mr FISHER.

No. One officer did not commence the beginning of the year, but about the 1st of January.

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes-as to $4,000, the Civil Service Act does not apply.

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CON
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Are we to understand that only those who have passed the civil service examination will be employed in the Archives Branch ?

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes. I would propose that this item be amended by inserting the words * $4,000 of which may be paid not-w-ithstanding anything in the Civil Service Act.'

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

That would do for this year. For next year it can be made more definite.

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Amendment agreed to.


LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

With regard to the item in the Department of Indian Affairs that was reserved, the salary in question was not that of Mr. McArthur or Mr. Bigger, but of Mr. Bray. Mr. Bray is acting as the chief surveyor of the department. When we had that item under discussion some time ago, I stated that Mr. Bray had reached the top of his class and that the object was to make him a chief clerk. The item provided in the estimates for another chief clerkship ; there were already five and we asked an appropriation for six. On the information given to me, I stated that Mr. Bray had reached the top of his class. In that I was in error; he has not reached the top of his class, but it is still thought in the department that he should be promoted to the rank of chief clerk. The reasons for this have been given to in the following words by the head of the department :

Mr. Bray was appointed on June 14th, 1884, as a third-class clerk in the survey branch. His salary was $800. He was promoted to a second-class clerkship on the 1st July, 1887, at $1,100, the minimum salary for that class, and he reached his maximum on July 1st, 1893. He remained a second-class clerk at a salary of $1,400 until the 1st July, 1899, when he was appointed chief surveyor with rank of first-class clerk, his salary for the first year not being increased.

Attention is drawn to the fact that owing to the death of the chief surveyor, Mr. W. A. Austin, in December, 1896, Mr. Bray assumed charge of that section of work. He was then a second-class clerk, and did not receive promotion to a first-class clerkship (which was Mr. Austin's rank) until the 1st July, 1899. This

fact is stated to show that Mr. Bray has not been rapidly promoted.

Mr. Brav is receiving promotion not because he is at the maximum of his class, but because the chief surveyor of the department is considered now to be entitled to a chief clerkship, not only on account of professional and technical qualifications, but because of Tfie large increase of work owing to the settlement of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

The department is now undertaking subdivision of reserves and the delimitation of boundaries which is constantly being called for

Mr. Bray is in charge of all survey and en-sin66ring improvements for reserves, dr3,in3.ge, roads, &c., and his position requires not only technical qualifications but good judgment.

For these reasons the head of the department has recommended that he should be promoted from the position which he now has to the position of chief clerk. Mr. Bray receives to-day a salary of $1,650, and by the statutory increase of $50 a year in four years more he could reach the maximum of his class, but the deputy head recommends that he should be promoted to the position for which provision is made in the estimate.

Mr. 1 OSTER, The emendation which has been made in the information rather forces a change of ground on my right hon. friend, which he takes with facility equal to that with which he has pressed the claim on the other grounds. I do not know that the ground is altogether satisfactory. The right lion, gentleman says that Mr. Brav has not been very rapidly promoted. Mr. Bray commenced his service in 1884, seven years later than one clerk in the first class and three years later than another clerk in the first class, and one year later than a third clerk in the first class, all of whom have therefore performed longer service, and are at the head of their class except in one case and close up to the head of their class in two other eases, so that on the ground of length of service in the department, Mr. Mc-Girr, especially as it stands there, has a right to the promotion rather than Mr. Bray, who commenced his service seven years 'ater. Taking the length of service, Mr. Bray getting now $1,700 and 'Mr. McGirr getting $1.90(*. Mr. Bray has had a more rapid promotion than Mr. McGirr, and has nothing to complain of in that respect. I do not see why it is necessary that a surveyor taking charge of a branch should be a chief clerk. If he has taken charge of the survey branch following the death of Mr. Austin, it might be a fair argument that he should receive an increase of salary if that were deemed right, but you are not only giving him an increase of salary but are putting him over the heads of those who have served longer and are thoroughly efficient clerks still. Then you are putting him in a branch above that of chief clerks, where he can come to the maximum of $2,500. It does not seem to me that it is fair treatment that the old and tried servants of the department, who have been 220

longer in the service, against whom, as I understand, nothing could be urged at all, but who are overlooked, against the principle which was so strongly advocated by the premier, that when a man got to the head of his class he ought to create a chief clerkship in order to promote him and not disappoint him. You do not want to disappoint Mr. McGirr any more than Mr. Bray, but Mr. Bray would not be stopped for two or three years, for he would get his increase while Mr. McGirr gets none, although he is seven years longer in the service and is a thoroughly efficient clerk. I am not .saying anything against Mr. Bray, but it does look like a forced promotion, and certainly leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, not only of those in that class, but in every class in the service, who seem to find out that even when they have done good service and longer service, for some reason they are not preferred, hilt are left in the old class whilst others are put over their heads.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIBR.

I have nothing to retract as to the principle which I laid down when we had the discussion on this before. There Is simply another principle which applies in this case. I stated on a former occasion that when a clerk had reached the maximum, if he was a good man and a deserving official, he should be promoted. I think so now ; and, as a rule, that the more aged should be promoted before those who are younger in the service. Still, my hon. friend would not take that as an absolute rule. There are reasons which I do not say apply to this case-for I know nothing of the merits of either of the men- but my hon. friend would not say that in all oases promotion should go by seniority. There may he cases where seniority ought to make way for special causes. I would not apply this rule to the present case, because, as X said, I know nothing of the men. If the case occurred in my own department, if the men were meritorious, I would promote both of them to chief clerkships, but the matter is not one in my own department and when 1 dealt with it I acted on the information furnished me. The information was erroneous ; I thought then that Mr. Bray was at the top of his class, and, so far as I remember, that wTas the chief reason given for the promotion. In this I was in error. The promotion is not because he is at the top of his class, blit it is that for the services he performed, and for the manner in which he performed these services and for his qualifications, he ought to be promoted to the rank of chief clerk. My hon. friend says : That may be true, but you pass over the head of another officer who is at the head of his class and who. is a good officer, and certainly it seems to me invidious to pass over one and not the other. I do not say no to that. It may be that there is I good reason to promote the other clerk, but i if -Mr. McGirr is not promoted that is not a

REVISED ED*iON

reason why Mr. Bray should not be promoted. I think my hon. friend will agree to that.

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CON

June 5, 1905