The hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) quoted a letter from Nova Scotia yesterday complaining of the treatment which some lighthouse keepers had received with regard to coal. It was said that they had been r ceiving coal and that it had been taken away from them. I have here a statement from the department explaining that the salaries of the lighthouse keepers were increased, and that an allowance for coal is no longer made. The statement is as follows :
Under date 24th September, 1908, an order in council issued approving of a classification of light-stations throughout the Dominion together with regulations covering such classification.
_ The various light-stations were grouped into classes according to duties required to be performed, aceessability, .opportunity for supplementing income by other work in the neighbourhood, &c. Before this classification came into effect, some lightkeepers were remunerated in part by salary, in part by other allowances such as for fuel, water, horse-keep, &c. Under the classification a salary was allowed sufficient in itself without other allowances. Under this classification, many lightkeepers received inreases in salary, certain other lightkeepers were found to be in receipt of salary above the maximum allowed by the classification, but the classification provided that in such cases the salary of keepers then in the service would not bd reduced and that such stations would come under the classification on the appointment of a new keeper. In many cases, the salary provided under the classification was equal j. mor,e than the aggregate allowances hitherto obtaining. In such cases, allowances such as for fuel, &e., were discontinued, the new salary covering such. In other cases the salary under the classification was greater than the previous salary but not as great as the aggregate of salary and allowances, and m such cases the part of the allowances covered by the new salary was discontinued, the remainder being allowed to the keepers.
In the case referred to by the leader of the opposition, the keeper, no doubt, received an Mr. FIELDING.
increase in salary which would cover former fuel allowance, and if the lightkeeper was offered coal for sale, he was in as good a position then as before the classification came into effect-that is, he received an increase in salary, which increase would at least pay for the coal and probably more.
With regard to the unfortunate drowning ot the Marie-Joseph lightkeeper and his son, this can scarcely be chargeable to the discontinuance of fuel 'allowances, particularly in so far as the department is aware fuel had T'.!')'ei.' been supplied to the Marie-Joseph lightkeeper by the department.