November 19, 1909

CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

First of >all, dealing with the correspondence and other matters connected with the International Institute of Agriculture in Rome, obtaining information regarding Canada for that institute, and receiving and dealing with the information procured from that institute for the service of the people of this country. It is proposed that that same officer shall have charge of the correspondence of the department, which is at present under the special charge of the office of the deputy minister. There is also the question of the distribution of the hundreds of thousands of documents sent out from the department. These are now being sent out from the different branches, and there is a duplication, which is unnecessary and adds to the expense. I think one officer ought to^have charge of that. There are also other details which have not been worked out.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

It does not seem to me that the minister has made a very good case for having a $2,800 to $4,000 man for that work. What is it that we send to or ge

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The object of the institute is to collect information, chiefly on agricultural and statistical subjects, from the different countries which adhere to it, and file it in the office of the institute, so that it will be available to the various countries in a concise and complete form. That will be done in Rome by the staff there.

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No. The information sent from Canada to Rome-all kinds of information with regard to statistics, the reports of various departments, the work of the different provinces, and the agricultural development of the country-has all to be prepared and sent forward. There has to be constant communication between the headquarters of the institute in Rome and this country.

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Largely statistical, but scattered through a very large number of publications in Canada, and obtained, from many sources. As a matter of fact, the work in Rome is all done in the French language, while a great deal of this statistical information in Canada is obtained from English sources. The work is very considerable, much larger than I expected,

and it will no doubt increase in the future. At the same time, I think it is a necessary and very useful work, and we shall get a direct return in the information of the same character which we shall receive from other countries, and which, if we vrere not a member of the institute, we would not get. The work as yet has not been thoroughly established. We have not been receiving any information, although we have been sending large quantities of . information. There is a great deal of correspondence, which comes to us altogether in the French language, and this has to be dealt -with here by somebody who understands that language.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

It is plain to me, from what the minister says, that any bright business man with an aptitude for figures, could gather and collate that information. It is not necessary to have a $4,000 man for that or for receiving the correspondence from Rome. It is not expert correspondence, but only clerical. If the minister desired to be economical, it seems to me that he could get a man to do that in a class lower than the highest class in the service. For instance, I think you could get a man in the class from $1,600 to $2,100 who would do that and do it excellently. A man who would know French would probably be of French descent. I do not think it is impossible to get a man at that price, but even if it was, could you not get one in the class from $2,100 to $2,800? Why should it be necessary to appoint a man of the very highest class who, -within a few years, will be getting $4,000? It does not seem reasonable to me.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

My hon. friend minimizes both the value and the difficulties of this work and also ignores the other work that will be given into the charge of that officer. He will have other duties and will have to direct and control the lower officials in charge of the work. He will have a considerable staff under his guidance and under these circumstances it is right to appoint an officer of this class. It is true that in the course of time he will reach $4,000, the maximum of his class, but he wall begin at $2,800.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

When will his information be before the House and will it be printed in English or in French?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

French is the official language of the institute, and I presume that anything that goes out from it will be in that language, but we would distribute the information in both the languages which are official in this country. At the general meeting of the institute in December I expect to hear that the organization has been completed. It has been in progress of creation during the year, and as soon as it is

in thorough order the information ought to be gradually available to the different countries.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

How large and how expensive will the staff under this officer be?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

For the particula work of the institute I do not know that he will require more than two or three, but, as I said, this is not the only work to be as-siened to him. It is hoped that he will be able to do the general correspondence of the department and also a large work in the distribution of what I may call the literature of the department. We send out annually between half a million and three quarters of a million of documents from the department, and I have found difficulty and in some respects inefficiency, although I do not like to use such a harsh word, in the way in which at present these bulletins, reports and documents are sent out, emanating as they do from all the branches of the department. I want to bring this distribution under one office, and I propose to place that work in charge of this new officer. The work requires an officer of considerable standing and authority in the department. [DOT]

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Is it to be a promotion or a new officer?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

A promotion, the position will be filled by Mr. Doherty in the division below.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What salary is he now receiving?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I think about $2,300.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

And you propose to give him $2,800?

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November 19, 1909