The duties of the various officials in the outside service differ very widely. For instance, I would not ask that the postmasters in the rural districts should be appointed under a system of competitive examination, and the same may he said of lightkeepers and officers of-a similar character. But in the Customs and Excise Departments it seems to me that there is ample reason why such a system should be introduced in respect of the outside service.
How long did the excise officer in the employ of the Government remain at Quebec or at Beauport, doing nothing and still drawing a salary from the Government, before he was transferred? I refer to David Murray, now at Prescott.
He is there as a first-class excise man belonging to the division at Prescott. His name appears in the report as being still at Quebec, but, of course, in the next report he will appear in the Prescott division. He receives a salary of $1,500 a year.
I quite agree that the salary paid to Mr. Murray is very reasonable, because I know him personally and he is certainly a competent officer. The information I wanted is as to the duties of this man at Prescott, whom he replaced,
and the factory in which he is employed as excise officer.