Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to renew my request of yesterday to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) with reference to the salaries of employees in the Public Works Department.
Hon. WILLIAM PUGSLEY (Minister of Public Works.) I have made inquiries, and Mr. OLIVER.
I find that the caretakers and the heating engineers in the public buildings at Hamilton have not received their pay. So the hon. gentleman's information was correct on that point.
I also made inquiry as to the reason, and I found that with respect to the caretakers and heating engineers the vote of last year was not sufficient to pay them for the entire year, and a portion of the one-eighth was used in paying wages for the month of March. Then with the remainder the accountant began in the eastern provinces and went as far west as he could. So the caretakers and heating engineers, not only in Hamilton but in other parts of Ontario and the west, have not yet been paid.
No, because I have great hope, and the accountant felt, that in the course of a few days a vote for these poor men, who must of course get their pay, as every hon. gentleman will admit, would be available. I did not think it was necessary to issue a circular just at present.
I would like to ask the government a question in regard to Bill (No. 157) which has been introduced by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith), an Act to amend the Railway Act. Is it the intention of the government to promote the
passage of that legislation during the present session ? The Bill is a very short one. it has only one paragraph, which is in the following terms :
iNo operator, train despatches or other employee who, hy the use of the telegraph, telephone, or other electrical device, despatches, reports, transmits, receives, or delivers orders or messages pertaining to or affecting train movements shall he required or permitted to he on duty for a longer period than eight hours in any twenty-four hour period, except in case of emergency, in which case any such employee may remain on duty for a period not exceeding twelve hours in a twenty-four hour period, and such excess duty shall not he permitted on more than two days in any seven.
In view of the frequency of accidents on our railways during the past few years, I would like to ask the government if it is their intention to have that legislation passed during the present session?
This is a public Bill, and must take its rank along with all other legislation of a similar nature. Whether 'this Bill and other public Bills should be treated exceptionally, is a matter as to which I could not give an opinion at this moment.