May 10, 1911

LIB
CON

Clarence Jameson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMESON.

But it will affect the people who have to put their hands in their pockets and pay the bills. The minister speaks of there being such a large number of ports in Canada compared with the United States. Of course there are more; we have more coast line on the Atlantic alone than the United States have on both Atlantic and Pacific. The minister knows that. But the minister does not go further and make a comparison of salaries paid. In the seaports of the maritime provinces, where we do a large amount of shipping, it is necessary to have customs ports and to have fairly capable officers in charge of them, men who are capable of discharging their duties, who will be on hand-and, so far as my information goes these officers are on hand when required. It may be that they engage in 'some other occupation; but they must confine themselves to occupations which will not take them so far away from their offices that they cannot discharge their duties with reasonable dispatch. And, when all the rest of the service are receiving increases of salaries, I draw the attention of the minister to the fact that, as I believe these men are receiving the same salaries as they have received for years. It is only right that their case should be taken under advisement, and if it is fair-as I believe it to be-that they should be given an increase, then, that increase should be provided for. And I do not think the people of this country will be in any way disposed to criticise it.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

I am afraid I cannot promise that with reference to that class of officers.

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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

I understood the Minister of Customs, when answering a question put by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) with regard to Mr. Garrison, to intimate that there was some reason for Mr. Garrison's salary not being increased. Mr. Garrison is a very competent and able man. He went into the customs house as a very

young man, and to-day when the minister calls his collector of customs from Halifax, Mr. Garrison must take his place and take charge of the port. Halifax, I think, is the fcurth in the Dominion of Canada.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

You are an important port, but not the fourth.

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?

Mr CROSBY.

Perhaps the minister will tell us what position Halifax takes?

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mir. PATERSON.

A very good position.

Mr. CROSBY'. It would be a good position whatever position we took. I said we were the fourth port in the Dominion, and unless the minister shows I am wrong-

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The minister means that Halifax is in the third position.

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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

We are certainly well up on the list. But we are not well up so far as the payment of our men is concerned. Mr. Garrison has been receiving $1,500, I think, for fifteen or twenty years. I believe that Halifax occupies a higher place than two of the ports whose surveyors receive higher salaries. Not only is that the case, but last year we had more business than in any previous year, and next year we expect to have a great deal more. In fact, the day is not far distant when every passenger steamer that crosses the Atlantic between the mother land and America will be compelled by the condition of things to come to Halifax. Now, Mr. Garrison is also a comparatively young man. It is only a few months ago, when in the city of Halifax, I saw my gallant friend in his military uniform-in fact, he looked like Colonel Hughes. Therefore, there can be no question so far as his physical condition is concerned. And I know he stands in high reputation with the citizens of Halifax. It would be a sufficient recommendation for him if he stood high with the collector of customs. Our collector of customs, Mr. Mitchell, has been spoken of by the leader of the opposition. He is an excellent man and I have no hesitation in saying that the pert of Halifax is fortunate in its collector. The only thing wrong in his case is that we are not paying him enough. He is getting the same salary, I think, that the collector of customs of Halifax got at confederation or very shortly after. Before his appointment he was at the head of a very large and remunerative business. I think it was only with great peisuasion on the part of his friends that he agreed to take the position, and the citizens of Halifax were delighted when he was appointed. We claim that Ke should have a salary of $4,000. We do not ask for $4,500, because there are one or two other places that do a little more business than Halifax, and we leave the $4,500 to them. But the next man to the collector is the surveyor, and he only gets

$1,500. I see that the minister (Mr. Paterson) can hardly credit that because he is looking up to see what Mr. Garrison receives.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

The minimum was $1,200, and he is only getting $300 over the minimum.

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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

He has been getting that a long time. I am sure that when the minister has visited Halifax he has found Mr. Garrison a man thoroughly competent for his position. It is only fair that he should receive a better salary. Other men have been referred to. I could quote a dozen appointments within the last six years of men who are receiving larger salaries than Mr. Power who has been in the custom house a long time. He went into the custom house a very young man-he seems to be a young man to-day. Living in Halifax keeps him young. And there is Mr. O'Brien whom I know well, and who is a very competent man. The Minister of Customs referred to the number of ports in the maritime provinces at which he has collectors and he also referred to the United States. Well, I may say that in the United States, even a foreign vessel coming from a foreign country, before she reaches her destination, can call at half a dozen ports, and if there is no collector she 'is not called upon to enter. In the maritime provinces a vessel cannot call at a port and remain even twenty minutes without going to the customs officer and making an entry. Consequently, when a vessel goes from one port three or four miles into another port, the captain is bound to go to the collector and report and get a clearance. Our customs laws are different in that regard from those of the United States, and if we make stringent laws in that respect we must provide some way by which these men may be accommodated. The master of a vessel entering a port is always averse to going to the customs, although he knows he has to do it. As the minister knows, it is always an inconvenience to the captain. In the United States a vessel goes into a port where there is no collector of customs and does not have to report; and even if they go into a port where there is a collector, unless they stay there over 24 hours, they are not called upon to make entry. So that in the United States the ship has greater convenience than it has in our ports. Even if a little fishing vessel goes to one of our fishing ports and spends a few hours, she has to report to the customs officer and get a clearance, and she cannot go fishing again unless she has a clearance. If the master of a vessel violates that law, she can be seized and fined up to $400. So that when the Minister of Customs complains of the number of ports, he must remember that Mr. CROSBY.

his department and his government are responsible therefor. I think it would be better to have fewer ports, and thereby give the ship some relief. The collector of customs gets twenty-five to fifty cents, as the case may be, for writing out an entry; consequently he will take good care that the ship master comes to his office, and if he does not, he can be fined. Now, the minister said that no man should be expected to confine himself wholly to customs work unless he was getting a salary of $1,000.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

I say that is forbidden if he has $1,000 or over.

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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

That is the position I have always taken with regard to our large cities, that we should have no man working in the customs with less than $1,000 salary. There should be no man woriung in any of our large cities where the trade is Jieavy, at a less salary than $1,000 a year, i hope the time will soon come when the Minister of Customs will see his way clear to make such a rule in all the cities. As a matter of fact, no man who is working in that department could attempt to do any business outside of ms omce; n he did, the minister would be in hot water all the time with complaints coming to him about that man. .Now, with regard to the service, 1 can see no reason why the outside service, in the cities at least, should not be brought under the Civil Service Act and run the same as the inside service. If the Postmaster General and some of the other departments would do that, it would save them a great deal of trouble. All the cities can be fairly well taken in under the Civil Service Act, and it would always be possible to get efficient men for the department, after passing an examination to qualify for whatever positions might become vacant. 1 hope the Minister of Customs will turn his attention to that matter. He has a large department, and it is difficult for him to please everybody with regard to appointments. 1 have no objection to the minister taking the recommendation of his friends in a particular district, when he wants to make an appointment in the Customs Department, and I do not object to his appointing a friend of his who is well qualified in all other respects. But it is the meanest kind of a thing, it is the most contemptible thing, for any minister to hamper and harass a man who has been appointed by some other government. I think when a man enters the Civil Service he should be protected by every member of this House in his rights. He has a perfect right to vote as he pleases; as long as he does not make himself obnoxious in any way he has a right to proper treatment as

regards his salary, irrespective ot his politics.

Mr. BLA1JN. 1 would ash the minister why he does not introduce the policy oi promotion in his department. Jt'or example, I have in my mind a customs of-tice which became vacant the otner day by the death of the occupant. My hon. friend has, in the province oi Untario, many officers wTTo have had considerable experience and who would like very much to be promoted to that important place, with a very much higher salary. But the hon. gentleman instead ot adopting the policy oi promotion, takes an outside man who has no experience whatever, aifd very little qualification, puts him into this important office, and by doing that he gives no inspiration to those who are engaged in the service. They have no opportunity or expectation of promotion. Why does my hon. inend not adopt the policy oi promotion? Would it not be in the interest of the public instead of taking, shall I say, a politician, and putting him into that oi-fice, without any qualification, and over the heads of men who have devoted the best of their lives to the service of the government.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

Does the hon. gentleman mean to take an officer who has been in the service in some other port or in the same port?

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CON
LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

I have not been able to carry it out under the present circumstances. If we were adopting the system of competition and they were proving themselves by examination and all that-

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CON
LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

Well, there is the question; it would have its good points. I perhaps, need not say that it would probably have some opponents. The old system has been going on so long that I suppose it would be objected to, but perhaps, with respect to efficiency, if it could be worked, it would produce the effect that the hon. gentleman says. I think I will have to leave it to be worked out by my hon. friend some day.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LABOR.

It would be a little bit hard on defeated candidates.

On paragraph 2: Schedule 'B' Customs,

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Does that cover all the outside service or are there others in the outside service who will not receive consideration?

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May 10, 1911