February 10, 1911

INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY RATES.

LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Hon. GEO. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals).

Mr. Speaker, if I might be allowed, I would like to refer to a question asked me the other day by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax), in reference to a complaint of the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Stanfield) in reference to an error made in the Intercolonial railway office at Moncton concerning cheap rates for a Conservative picnic that was held in Nova Scotia. The hon. leader of the opposition asked me to ascertain what happened to the junior clerk who had made the mistake-was he promoted for making it or was he reprimanded? As a matter of fact, the young man was fined and placed in a less responsible position, for the time at least, for the error he had made.

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QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.

CON

Charles Lewis Owen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. L. OWEN (East Northumberland).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. I notice in the Montreal ' Gazette,' in the account of the proceedings of this House yesterday, that I am put down as having voted with the government on the amendment. That is a mistake. I voted for the amendment, but I did not notice that my pair was absent. When that fact was brought to my notice I asked to have Mr. FOSTER

my name erased. At the same time, I said that had I voted, I would have voted for the amendment, because I was of the same opinion as the mover of the amendment, that we should have a little more time to talk this matter over with our constituents before being asked to vote upon it.

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SUPPLY-INQUIRY FOR RETURN.


Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into- Committee of Supply.


CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I wish to direct the attention of the government to an incomplete return laid on the table the other day. The return ordered by the House was as follows: '

How many appointments have been made by the government from the constituency of South Grey since 1904, what are the names, to what positions appointed, and the salary or remuneration in each case?

The government have brought down a return showing something like 26 appointments. It is fair to say that the most of them are very minor appointments, chiefly from the Post Office Department to country post offices worth a few dollars a year. The larger departments have not responded at all. There is no reply from the Public Works Department, none from the Interior Department, none from the Department of Railways and Canals, and none from the Marine and Fisheries Department, the four important spending departments of the government. I cannot understand how this could have been overlooked. One department says it keeps1 no record of that; another says something of the same kind. It seems to me that it would not be a very diflicult task on the part of any department, by consultation with the sitting member for the county, to learn how many appointments had been made from the constituency from all departments of the government since 1904. That is a very reasonable request. I am not going to criticise particularly my hon. frienu who represents the county, as he is not in his seat; but I am informed on very good authority that he makes it a pretty common plank of his platform for re-election that he has been so successful in representing the county having been able to get so many appointments for liis county made in the different departments of the government. As these offices are in the gift of the government, and the salaries come out of the public treasury, the government should be able to say who have been appointed, and where they come from. I did not include the hon. Minister of Finance with the departments that have not been heard from. It may be that my hon. friend from South Grey has been influential with the Minister of Finance.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

He would be.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I would think so. My hon. friend is always ready to respond without much persuasion, particuarly to requests coming from that side of the House. 'I would ask the government to obey their own order and to lay on the table of the House a list of these appointments from every department. I suppose my hon. friends will answer that this is an impossible proposition. Everybody in this House knows that it is not. If any department has not a record of the constituency from which each person appointed comes, surely that could be ascertained by consultation with the sitting member who in the main would recommend the persons for the different positions. Then they could lay a complete return on the table of the House, from which the public could understand whether or not my hon. friend was using the proper election method in stating that his constituency was honoured because he was so influential with the government being able to get so many of his electors on the Civil Service pay-roll of the country.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. REID (Grenville).

I should think that the Secretary of State would be able to collect from all the different departments the necessary matter for a complete returiT such as is asked for by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain). Another matter which I wish to bring up is this. The other day, when the Prime Minister was absent, I appealed to the government, instead of taking the estimates of the Public Works Department day after day, to vary them with those of some of the other departments. Probably two-thirds of the session have now gone by, and the only department whose estimates we have yet considered in Supply is the Department of Public Works. There are a great many Items for that department, and if we discussed each item fully it would probably take the whole session to deal with that department alone. There are important matters to be considered in the Marine and Fisheries Department, and in the Department of Agriculture which is one of the most important of the government as the Prime Minister will admit, judging by the deputation which was heTe to-day. In the past we have had different departments under consideration from time to time, but this rule is now violated, and I think when we appeal in person to the Prime Minister he will give our appeal attention.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Are we to understand there have been no appointments made in the Department of Public Works from the constituency of South Grey since 1904?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Air. PUGSLEY.

Will my hon. friend send me over the return?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The motion to adj'ourn was for the purpose of obtaining what information is actually on record in the department, and if my hon. friend (Mr. Blain) has received that I do not know that he can complain.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I assume that no man is appointed to office by this government unless the government have a record of that appointment?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The record of the appointment might not necessarily give the locality the appointee came from.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

These appointments are not usually made at the request of the appointee, but at the request of the sitting member and the government can easily inquire from the sitting member where the man came from. The ministers or their officials can find out from the member for South Grey what persons from his constituency have been appointed since 1904. [DOT]

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I do not think it is the duty of the officers of my department to go round to the different members and find out where in former years was the place of residence of certain officials. There is no record kept, as I understand, of the place whence an appointee originally came, and I take it for granted that the return gives all the information in the department.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BLAIN.

If the minister states there have been no appointments to his department from the constituency of South Grey since 1904, I will accept his statement.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

There may be dozens of officials in my department who originally came from South Grey, but we do not keep a record of where they came from.

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February 10, 1911