May 23, 1913

LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

How many officers has

the minister appointed in the inside, and how many in the outside service, since the present Administration came into office?

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN :

Very few in the inside service, in the higher positions; nearly all minor clerkships. There have been some in the outside service in connection with the lighthouse service and that sort of thing. I cannot give figures at the moment, but will be able to give them later on. Passing from that, we come to the third division subdivision (A). Last year the amount was $35,050, and this year $40,800. There is no change in the number of clerks-there are thirty-eight-and the increase is made up of the statutory increases alone.

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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE :

Do statutory increases depend upon the recommendation of any officials in the department?

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Upon that of the deputy

Minister. If the Deputy recommends the official as worthy of the increase he gets it, but if the official's work has not been satisfactory and the Deputy-Minister so reports, he does not get it. Coming down to the third division subdivision (B), last year the amount was $20,900, this year it is $17,850. We are providing for twenty-nine positions as against twenty-four. The clerks to be appointed numbered five, at $500 a year each, the very lowest class-they are stenographers. There are but two permanent stenographers for the fisheries correspondence proper. They have been unable to cope with the work and it has been necessary to employ temporary clerks almost continuously throughout the year. There will be an additional one also in the Commissioner of Lights' branch. This was made necessary by the fact that Miss Percival was transferred to the Accountants' branch and to fill the position Miss Hill was employed temporarily. That position must be filled permanently. These are all positions which it is absolutely necessary to fill that the work in the department may be carried on. I am told by men in the department

who have been there for years, that the work in the department increases every year and has increased very rapidly in the last few years. This is due in part to the greater volume of business in connection with the fisheries of British Columbia, where there has been a tremendous development. Then, for messengers, the amount provide^ last year was $5,500, and this year $6,700. This increase provides for the statutory increases and also for two additional messengers. The Department of Marine and Fisheries is scattered almost all over town. There is not only the main office in the western block, but there we have an office on Sparks street, one on Wellington street, and the branch in the Corry building and others. An increase in the staff of messengers is absolutely necessary, as papers have to be constantly carried by messengers from one branch of the department to another. That covers the different items which make up the civil government estimates

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

How many dismissals

have been made for political partisanship in the department of the minister since he took charge?

Mr. HAZEN. So far as the inside service is concerned, I do not think there have been any dismissals for political partisanship. In the outside service there have been quite a number of dismissals. I have not a statement before me, but I will have it made out for my hon. friend if he so desires.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

The feeling in my constituency and along the coast of Nova Scotia in regard to the Marine and Fishery Department is that the minister has been very reckless indeed so far as dismissals are concerned. He has resorted to the spoils system, pure and simple, showing very little regard for the rights of the officers and not extending to them an opportunity for a fair and proper investigation of their cases. I would have expected that the minister, coming from the maritime provinces, knowing the hardships endured and the small salaries received by the lighthouse keepers on the coast, would have had some consideration for them, and, at ail events, would have given them a fair trial, but so far as the action of his department in this regard has come under my own observation, I cannot say that he has done so. There have been a very large number of dismissals in my constituency, and in many cases trials have been conducted, in a star-chamber way, in the bedrooms of hotels, garrets and places of that kind. Witnesses have been examined. in some cases in the absence of the person accused. Most of the marine officers on the coast of my constituency have been dismissed, with

106S7

the exception of a few lighthouse keepers. The greatest sinners in this regard are the Postmaster -Genera] (Mr. Pelletier), the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) and the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen). There is a very striking passage in one of the minor prophets of the Old Testa-.ment in which a scourge of insects or grub3 is described in this way: What the locust left, the canker-worm ate; what the canker-worm left, the caterpiller ate, and when the caterpiller got through there was not anything left. That very fairly indicates the conditions connected with the dismissal of Liberal officials employed on the coast of my constituency. What the Minister of Customs left, the Postmaster General devoured, what the Postmaster General left, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries devoured, and when the Minister of Marine and Fisheries got through there was scarcely a single Liberal officer left in the fish hatcheries and lifeboat stations on the one hundred and fifty miles of the coast of my constituency.

The case to which I wish to refer specially is that of W. L. Munro, who was light-keeper on an island known as Three Top Island in the harbour of Whitehead. He was appointed to the position in 1879 by the Conservative administration, and served in the capacity of lightkeeper for 32 years. The island is an unsheltered rock off Whitehead, exposed to all the storms of the Atlantic; in winter time it is very difficult to reach the shore at all, and the keeper is often imprisoned for weeks at a time. Mr. Munro tvas appointed under the old system under which light keepers, after serving a certain number of years reaching a certain age, were entitled to be retired under pension. Mr. Munro claims that he was entitled to receive a pension after being thirty-two years in the service, but his dismissal has been used as a reason why he should not receive a pension. This man is a sailor, and somewhat excitable, and while a Conservative in his early days, he later acquired an admiration for Sir Wilfrid Laurier. At the close of a meeting in the . schoolhouse in his district he is said to have proposed three cheers for Sir Wilfrid, and I understand that that is one of the . chief reasons why this man, who served for thirty-two years in the capacity of lighthouse keeper, and who was entitled to a pension, was discharged from the service and refused a pension.

The charges against this lighthouse keeper were first made in February, 1912, and there was a lengthy correspondence between him and the Department of Marine and Fisheries, part of which I wish to put on record. The minister delayed action for a long time and finally threw Munro to the wolves and denied him his, position and the pension to which he claimed to be entitled.

Mr. SINCLAIR.

His case is a hard one. He has a family, and is now well up in years. He opened his heart to the minister, approaching him personally by writing a letter of which he sent me a copy. In February, 1912, Mr. Munro wrote the following letter to the minister:

Whitehead, N.-S., February 8, 1912. To the Honourable,

Minister Hazen,

Minister of Marine and Fisheries, House of Commons, Ottawa.

My Honourable Sir,^I presume among others, you have me slated for my dismissal. And whether I am right in doing so, I thought I would drop you a line regarding it. I trust, honourable Sir, as I have been keeper of this station for thirty-two years and some months, that if I am dismissed, that you will see that I get a superannuation, as of course, after twenty years of any man's life there is not much strength left in him for hard toil and dragging. I am now sixty years of age past, and sti'l burdened with the care of three grandchildren after raising a family of my own, ten children, and among them only one hoy and what help I had it was always hired help; and the small salary I always got which of course was a help, I always had to work hard in order to make ends meet.

I am not ashamed to say I was appointed in 1879, and up to 1896 I always voted Conservative, hut as the latter Government was good enough to let me hold my job, I thought it my duty to vote for them, and as far as votes goes we are square; however, you will, I trust, honourable Sir, allow me your sincere consideration, and have me granted a superannuation if I am dismissed. I trust you won't have it done this winter while so rough and boisterous.

I am dear honourable Sir,

Your very obedient servant,

(Sgd.) W. L. Munro.

Mr. Munro also wrote a little sketch of his life, setting forth some feats of bravery he had performed while residing on this island. This he handed to the press for publication, sending me a copy as well. It is a very interesting story; it discloses the hardships suffered by and the heroic conduct of this man while he was in the service of the department. I submitted this statement of Munro to the minister prior to his dismissal, so that the minister would not have the excuse that he was not familiar with all the details with regard to this man's service and his merits. In sending this sketch to the minister, I wrote him as follows:

February 13, 1912.

Hon. J. D. Hazen,

Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa. Re proposed dismissal of IV. L. Munro.

Dear Mr. Hazen-Referring to this case* I am enclosing a letter written by Mr. Munro himself to the press, some time ago, relating some of the feats that he performed in saving life, during his long service as light keeper at White Head.

I submit that these matters ought to he considered in connection with the action of

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the department at present. It would be quite satisfactory to Mr. Munro and his many friends there on both sides of politics, if lie received his pension under the original arrangement in _ force at the time that he entered the service.

You will notice by his answer which you have on your file, when asked to select between his pension and the payment of his *money back, that instead, that he gave a sort of indefinite reply by saying that he would ' vote for this.'

There is not the slightest doubt that Mr. Munro intended to retain his pension. At all events, even if the other view is taken, it is very clear that if the matter was fully explained to him, he would never have selected to take back the money paid in instead of his retiring allowance. I understand that his retiring allowance for two years would amount to more than the cash to ' which he would be entitled.

I trust, therefore, that you can see your way clear either to leave this light in his possession or grant him his pension.

I remain;

Yours truly,

J. H. Sinclair.

I want to read to the Committee the statement given by Mr. Munro to the public and to the minister with regard to the services that he performed. Told in his own simple, sailor fashion, it contains some real touches of nature, and ought to have reached the heart of the minister:

Allow me space please in your valuable

paper to insert a sketch of my past thirty-two years as lighthouse keeper on what is known as or called by mariners, Three Top Island, which lies at west entrance of White Head harbour, one mile from the mainland being W.N.W. from White Head light, distance one mile. The light is called a harbour light by many, but not like many harbour lights on the coast, whereas most such lights are situated on the mainland.

Thi9 island takes its name by having three hills as nature formed it, each hill or peak, as we wish to call it, running eighty to a hundred feet, horizontally, with no real landing place, such as a beach but is iron bound, so to speak, all around, with a boat slip running down a steep embankment where with block and tackle *attached to a capstan that is fixed in a boathouse on the side of the cliff, we haul our boat to safety, which by times, when there is a heavy sea on, is a pretty risky piece of business. Many times I have had my boat filled in effecting a landing.

Well, Mr. Editor, the life of a light keeper is a dreary one, watching the storm tossed seas that I have witnessed time and again caused by heavy winter gales on the southern coast of our province, facing the Atlantic ocean.

I remember one storm in particular about eighteen years ago in February. The sea in one of its fierce rushes burst in our door at ten o'clock at night and flooded our floors to a depth of six inches of water. My wife and the children screamed, thinking they were doomed. I got them gathered to a window, there to make our exit and flee to one of the highest peaks, but in this case Providence favoured us by the gale moderating, and, the

sea falling some, did not cause us to face such an ordeal in a wintr's hurricane on a naked cliff.

Also, Mr. Editor, I could relate several eases in sheltering shipwrecked crews since my abode as lightkeeper, if space could afford. One case in particular I must relate. It was on a Christmas eve about 16 years ago, if I remember right. There was a heavy gale raging from the northeast with enow and the temperature was at zero. My three eldest daughters were on the mainland at the time attending a concert at the Methodist church that they were taking part in. The small children had retired early in the evening as usual. My wife and I went to bed about half past ten o'clock, after seeing that .Santa Claus was to visit the island, and I suppose we had been retired about 20 minutes, I had about fallen to sleep, when my wife aroused me by telling me that she heard a horn blowing. X told her she was dreaming, to go to sleep; but to please her I got up and went to the door to investigate. I found to my horror, that she was right, for there on the reef that extends southeast away from the mainland about two hundred yards, lay a stranded vessel, and they were blowing horns and shouting for their lives for the keeper to save them, as they thought from the way their ship was pounding, she would break up, and certainly they would be doomed under such circumstances. Well, my man being ashore to spend his holidays of course left me alone. I dressed and went to the cliff, as near as I could venture, and shouted as loud as I could not to attempt it until daylight. Well, I do not suppose they could hear me, but their wailings were terrible to hear on such a night. And again I went and shouted to them to take their own boat and I would guide them by a torch. Well, again they could not hear me, as they kept u.p their wailings. I could hear the wind whistling in the wreck, .but I leave that to one's imagination, what it sounded like together with their shouting to save them. Well, I went to the house and told my wife that in God's name I would try and launch a boat and go off to the wreck, and, of course, as usual with women, my wife crying and begging me not to dare such a thing on such an awful night, and the children awakened by the tumult to make matters worse, joined their mother in begging me not to go, and I was pretty near abandoning the idea altogether until daylight. Well, I went out of doors and down to the cliff, and by the way their shouting seemed to me, I imagined there were at least, some of them in the water and perhaps drowning. And then I said to myself, I am going to try it anyway and if I get lost it will be in a good cause trying to save my fellow men. Well, I lit a pine .torch, or flare up, as some call them, ancl my wife following me, I went to the slip and let the boat down, as far a9 I dared, the sea coming up by times half way to the slip. As the gale was blowing fair on it was so much the worse to get clear. Wdll, as I went to run down and after lowering her and did unhook the boat there came a heavy sea and swept the boat clear of me just as 1 was in the act of leaping into her, she turned completely bottom up. Well that pretty near discouraged me. However, I had another boat in store that I had stowed away educe

the past summer not intending to launch her until spring lobster fishing. To tier I Tan and got her on the slip but haring only one pair of oars left it was risky, losing two pairs in the first boat. However, I let the boat down part way this time, put my oars in her, unhooked my tackle and sprung into the boat, taking chances going down the slip equal to ' loop the loop ' and landed safe in the boiling water made by the gale. Well, I grabbed my oars and as skillfully as I could managed my boat until I got out to the wreck, which I found to be the George P. Trigg, from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, bound to Boston, loaded with several thousand bushels of oats. She was trying to make the harbour to clear the storm when stranded. They had lowered the boat when first she struck the ledge and lost the boat in the sea. I found the men very much frightened. They all wanted to get in my small boat at once, hut I told them to do as I told them and I would try and land them. So 1 took three men at a time getting to the Island. My wife held the torch and that was a great help to me. I backed the boat stern first as near to the surf as I dared, and told the men to leap which they did and landed safe, and then I began another struggle for the wreck, which I gained after a hard fight and got the captain, mate and the remaining one of the crew. Of course I dare not allow any one to touch my oars but myself as I had only one pair and to break one we were doomed. However, I reached the Island and landed safely, thank God, where we were all housed at 3 o'clock in the morning of Christmas day. The wreck presented a gloomy looking sight in the morning. The top of the hull which was above water, was a mass of ice, where no one could go near her for a couple of days. I can vouch also, for keeping five wrecked crew6 for over a week at a time. All for which I have never received one cent. Although I billed parties, I was never recognized after.

My family consists of ten children, seven girls and three boys, of which two died young and one girl died also. After reaching womanhood four reside at Somerville, Mass., the eldest, Mary, marrying Mr. J. D. McLean, a contractor in the steamfitting business, the next, Alice, a music teacher, lives with her sister, also, Edith, lives with her sister, and their next youngest sister i9 attending high school at Somerville.

I want to say Mr. Editor, that my family were all born on this island, and the seven that are living are in good health to-day. The one living son and the baby girl are home yet with us. The fourth girl, M'aud, married at home to Mr. Alden Munro. They reside at White Head. I came here in the year of our Lord, 1879, which year the light was built, after being married two years and am here yet. My salary has been very small. After paying a man a year and feeding him at the high cost of living, three hundred dollars does not go far.

Now, Mr. Editor, I will conclude by saying, To give me justice don't you think that I am worthy of a superannuation fund when I leave this island which I suppose will be very soon

new ?

Well, I will leave that part of the pro-Mr. SINCLAIR.

gramme to be judged by my superior, as it would he a help to us in our older days.

Thanking you kindly Mr. Editor for your space allotted.

Yours truly.

W. L. Munro, Lightkeeper.

The Editor published the above, and added:

Of course Mr. Munro will be superannuated. The Dominion of Canada cannot afford to do its housekeeping by turning off old servants who havq served it 60 gallantly for so many years, without anything to live upon so far as the country is concerned.-Editor, Eastern Chronicle.

The minister promptly replied to that letter which I sent to him, enclosing that statement. He said:

I am in receipt of your favour of 12th instant inclosing a letter from Mr. Munro, of Whitehead, N.S., and wish to assure you that it will have my very careful consideration.

. Yours very truly,

J. D. Hazen.

I had a reply also from the Deputy Minister to the same effect. You will notice that three months before he took action to dismiss Mr. Munro the minister was familiar with all the details of this case. He was aware of the fact that Mr. Munro was an old and faithful servant appointed by the Conservative government a long time ago. He was aware that he had spent 32 years on the Island, and that there was no legitimate complaint against him. He was aware of the fact that he had served for a mere pittance, receiving only about $300 a year. He was also informed that this man claimed a pension, and that under the law. as it existed at the time of his appointment, there was no doubt at all that he was entitled to a pension. The next letter I have here is an intimation from the department that this man had been dismissed. It is a letter from Mr. Staton:

I have to inform you that by Order in Council of the Ith April, 1912, your services as keeper of the light at Three Top Island, N.S., have been dispensed with owing to political partisanship, and that Mr. Howard IS. Munro has been appointed temporarily keeper of the light, to whom I have to request you to give up possession of the light and of all Government supplies pertaining thereto when required.

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Mr CARVELL:

What was the charge of partisanship?

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

It appears that there

was an investigation, but it also appears that it was a very one sided and unfair investigation. The commissioner who conducted this sham investigation disregarded the law altogether, and declined to allow Mr. Munro to be represented by counsel.

The committee can understand how helpless a man of this character would be in a court of that kind without any one to assist him, or to place his case before the court.

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CON
LIB
CON
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Yes. The declaration is as follows:

Dominion of Canada, county of Guysborough.

In the matter of the conduct of H. P. Ducliemin at an investigation in the case of W. L. 'Munro, held at White Head on the 13th of March, A.D. 1912.

I, W. L. Munro, of White Head, in the county of Guysborough, province of Nova Scotia, do solemnly declare:-

That I appeared before H. P. Duchemin, commissioner, on the 13th day of March, 1912, at the hour and place indicated in my notice and asked the said Duchemin if he would be kind enough to allow me to have a counsel to act for me and cross-examine witnesses at the said investigation. The said Duchemin refused to permit me to have a counsel and stated that he himself was all the counsel that I would require in that investigation.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.

W. L. Munro.

Declared before me at White Head, in the the county of Guysborough, province of Nova Scotia, this 30th day of December, A.D. 1912.

W. S. Harris.

A justice of the peace in and for the county of Guysborough.

I have already drawn the attention of the House and of the minister to the statute that was passed last year, in which it is distinctly stated that the commissioner may allow any person whose conduct is being investigated under the Act, and shall allow any person against whom any charge is made in the course of investigation, to be represented by counsel.

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CON

William John Macdonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONALD:

The hon. gentleman is aware that the premier, some weeks ago, stated, while discussing that law, that he was clearly of opinion that every man was entitled to counsel and that it would be an injustice if counsel were not permitted to him.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I am quite well aware

that the Premier took the ground that without a statute at all, every man accused of any irregularity of this kind was entitled to counsel, but there is not much use of statements of that kind being made by the Prime Minister from his place in this House if they are to be disregarded by his

officers throughout the country. This man, Duchemin, has been disregarding this provision for several months and has been doing so with the full knowledge of the Government. It has been drawn to the attention of the Prime Minister and various members of the Government, over and over again, and he is still travelling as a scourge around the coast carrying bn this same kind of work, holding these same sham investigations, dismissing honest men without proper evidence and there is nothing done by the Government, or any department of the Government, to prevent it. A few days ago a return was brought down showing that this man had received a very large sum of money from various departments of the Government. The figure, including his living and travelling expenses, amounts to something over $6,000 at the present time. I do not know whether that brings his salary up to date, but it strikes me that it is a very great farce that we should have a man like that employed at such work, travelling around, disregarding the law, committing acts of injustice day after day and being paid a very large sum of money for doing so.

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LIB
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

It would be much better if the Government would take the repons-ibility of saying: We are going to adopt the spoils system, we are going to dismiss every man who is a Liberal, and are going to put one of - our own men in his place. If they took that ground we could understand it, but sending a man of this character along the coast pretending to hold investigations and refusing the right to be represented by counsel to persons against whom charges are made, is an intolerable thing in a free country. After I had received the facts in reference to the dismissal of Mr. Munroe, I brought the question of his right to superannuation allowance to the attention of the minister in a letter dated the 16th of May, 1912, and which is as follows:

May 16, 1912.

Hon. J. D. Hazen,

Minister of Marine and Eisheries,

Ottawa.

Dear Mr. Hazen,-

I have been informed by W. L. Munro, lightkeeper at Three Top Island, White Head, N.S., that he has been dismissed from the service.

This man's case has been before your department for some time and if you can find time to deal with it I should be obliged. He appears to me to be entitled to a pension. He has served, I understand, over thirty-two years. At the time of the change in the law he signed some document which was indefinite in language and which he says was misunderstood by him, but which might he construed

to mean that he would accept a Teturn of his money with interest in lieu of his pension, to which he was clearly entitled.

I feel sure he never intended this result, and if you have not the proof at hand I could furnish an affidavit hy himself. The matter has been drifting along without any decision being given, but now, on account of his dismissal, it should be adjusted. I will, therefore, thank you to deal with the matter at your earliest convenience.

You will also note that Mr. Munroe is entitled to a proportional amount of his salary for one month and fourteen days up to the date of his dismissal. '

Yours truly,

(Sgd.) J. H. Sinclair.

The minister was kind enough to reply to my letter blit the reply was very unsatisfactory to me. He says:

23rd May, 1912.

Dear Sir,-I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 16th dust., with respect to the case of Mr. Munro, and his request for superannuation.

In connection with this matter I beg to advise you that inasmuch as Mr. Munro was dismissed from the service, he would not be entitled to superannuation in any case. He will, however, be entitled to a refund of the money which stands to his credit in the retirement fund.

Yours faithfully,

(Sgd.) J. D. Hazen.

These are the facts of the case as briefly as I can give them to you. I thought it was important that I should put the documents on record for reference later on. The case is simply this, that Mr. Munro was dismissed on very slight evidence indeed as far as I can learn. The evident I have not yet received. It is also the custom of this man, Duchemin, not to return the evidence given by witnesses. He returns what he calls a report, and, as far ,as' I can learn, in many cases the report is r.ot borne out by the evidence. We have been unable to get the exact evidence given by witnesses, but from the statement made to me by Mr. Munro himself, there were various trifling charges brought against him. The principal one was the fact that he gave three cheers, or proposed three cheers, for Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the school fhouse at a political meeting. That, he gives me as precisely the reason why a man who had served the country for thirty-two years should be deprived of his position and also deprived of the pension to which he was entitled, You will note that the minister gives no other reason for depriving this man of his life pension except that he has been dismissed from the service. He was dismissed from the service for this partisan reason and dismissed by a commissioner who refused to give him a fair trial and refused to allow him to be represented by counsel. The minister had not , very much at stake in this matter, but Mr. Mr. SINCLAIR.

Munro had a great deal. He had spent his whole lifetime on that island and his future was involved in the decision that the minister gave. I submit that thirty-two years of faithful service ought to have had a better reward. The minister, before he arrived at his decision, ought to have made himself very certain that there was a clear case against Mr. Munro, and that Mr. Munro had obtained a fair trial. That is the least that the Minister ought to have done when we consider the fact that this man had so much at stake. During these 32 years he thought he was earning a retiring allowance, living on that bleak island, keeping the lamps trimmed and the lights burning over those rough waters and performing acts of bravery for which he was never rewarded. This is a case in which it will be very difficult for my hon. friend to satisfy the country, and especially the people who know Mr. Munro, that his action is justifiable.

It is an outiage to my mind that a man charged with a trifling political irregularity should be refused the right to be represented by counsel. A man charged with the vilest crime is represented by counsel, and in our courts, if he does not employ counsel himself, the judge sees that counsel is nominated and appointed so that the man is bound to have a fair trial in every British court. It is only in this court, and at this trial, held by my hon. friend and his colleagues week after week in Nova Scotia, that these common, ordinary rights of a British subject are denied. This is a very serious matter for Mr. Munro. I do not know what recompense the minister can give, but he certainly ought to give some. What he ought to do would be to restore Mr. Munro to his position, to take him back and give him his retiring allowance. That is the only thing I can suggest that would appear to me to do the case justice.

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Mr HAZEN:

As I said a few moments ago before my hon. friend commenced to speak, I appreciate very much bis courtesy in telling me that he intended to bring this matter to the attention of the House, and his having notified me of the fact enables me to lay before the committee today all the facts as they appear in connection with this matter from the official files of the department, and, when I say as they appear from the official files of the department, I mean as they appear from the correspondence and the information which the department has, or which I, as minister, have, with regard to the matter. I shall first refer to what my hon. friend said about this gentleman being refused his superannuation.

Mr. Munro was appointed keeper of the light at Three Top Island, Whitehead, by Order in Council of the 31st October, 1879,

his appointment to date from the 1st September of that year.

From the records it does not appear that Mr. Munro's performance of the duties of his office was always satisfactory to the department. In the month of June, 1898, the then member for the constituency, the late Hon. D. C. Fraser, was advised by the then Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Sir Louis Davies, that it was found necessary to censure Mr. Munro for absenting himself without leave.

This dissatisfaction appears to have continued, for, in a letter addressed by the deputy minister to the agent at Halifax on the 27th September, 1901, the following extract appears:

With reference to the dissatisfaction of Supt. Hutchins with the manner in which this light is attended to, I have to direct you to communicate with the keeper, and intimate that you have been instructed by the department to censure him for inattention to his duties as keeper, and that in future he must see that his station is kept in good order, as in the event of any further complaint reaching the department it will be necessary to take steps to dispense with his services as lightkeeper.

About the same time, Mr. Munro's request that he be supplied with fuel for his light station was answered by the deputy minister of that day, who pointed out that, as all .the reports to the department with respect to the lightkeeper were unfavourable, his request would not be entertained.

On the 29th March, 1906, a letter was received at the department from Mr. J. H. Sinclair, M.P., intimating that Mr. Munro's health was failing and that he desired to be superannuated. Mr. Sinclair asked whether he was entitled to superannuation.

On the 4th April, 1906, Mr. Sinclair was advised that Mr. Munro had contributed to the superannuation tax from the date of his appointment up to the 1st December, 1898, when he elected to come under the Retirement Act from the 1st January, 1899. He was further advised that, if Mr. Munro retired, as he appeared to think of doing on the ground of ill-health, the amount to his credit in the Retirement Fund, with interest, would be paid to him, but that he would not be superannuated.

On the 4th April, 1906, Mr. Sinclair inquired as to the amount that Mr. Munro would be entitled to if he resigned. He was advised on the 24th April that the amount to which Mr. Munro would be entitled on retiring would be $268.84.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I am reading from a letter addressed to you on the 24th April from the department.

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May 23, 1913