April 3, 1914

WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.


On motion of Hon. W. T. White (Minister of Finance), the House went into Committee of Ways and Means, to consider the following proposed resolutions. Mr. Blondin in the Chair. 1. Resolved, that towards making good the supply granted to His Majesty, on account of certain expenses of the public service for the financial year ending the 31st March, 1914, the sum of $1,S91,661.05 be granted out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada. 2. Resolved, that towards making good the supply granted to His Majesty, on account of certain expenses of the public service for the financial year ending the 31st March, 1915, the sum of $50,361,346.66 be granted out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada. Resolutions reported, and concurred in. Mr. WHITE thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 145, for granting to His Majesty certain sums of money for the public service for the financial years ending respectively the 31st March, 1914, and the 31st March, 1915. Motion agreed to, Bill read the first and the second time, considered in committee, reported, read the third time, and passed.


CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.


On motion of Hon. L, P. Pelletier (Postmaster General) the House went into Committee to consider the following proposed resolution, Mr. Blondin in the Chair: Resolved, That it is expedient to amend the Civil Service Act and the amendments thereto so as to provide that the minimum salary of clerks in city post offices, the offices of post office inspectors, the offices of superintendents of railway mail service, and the money order exchange office, shall be $600 on appointment; and that the annual increase for any such clerk shall be increased to $100 a year; and that if the salary of any temporary or permanent clerk in the said offices is on the 1st April, 1914, less than $600 it shall forthwith be increased to that amount; and that the salary of any person who may be employed temporarily in any of the said offices for a period of not more than one year, who has not passed the required examination, shall be at the rate of $600 a year.


CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

Two important changes are proposed. First, it is proposed to raise the initial salary, which is now $500, to $600. The other important feature is in regard to the annual increase in salaries. At present a clerk starting at $500 gets an annual increase of $100 a year up to $800, but after reaching that figure the increase is only $50 a year.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Up to what

point?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

From $800 to $1,000 in the one case, and from $1,000 to $1,800 in the other.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Are these

clerks under the Civil Service?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

All are under the Civil Service-applying to the outside service. v

&ir \VI LI RID LAURIER: As I understand it, the only change .proposed is that instead, of starting at $500 a year and increasing by $50 annually, a clerk starts at $600, with a yearly increase of $100 until he reaches the maximum of $1,800.

lili. PELLETIER: Yes. I see no reason why the salaries should not increase by $100 a year after the $800 point is reached.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Has the minister any temporary clerks who have been in his employ for more than one year without passing an examination? This resolution says that the salary shall be raised to $600 in the case of those employed temporarily

for a period of not more than one year, and it occurred to me that the minister might have some temporary clerks employed for more than one year .

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

Temporary clerks cannot be employed for more than one year; the Auditor General would not pay them. The temporary clerks now in the service at $500 a year will receive $600, the same as the permanent clerks. It is intended to raise the salary on appointment of both permanent and temporary clerks from $500 to $600 per annum.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

From the commencement of their service, or from the time the Act comes into force?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

From the 1st April,

1914. All these matters will be better understood when the Bill is before the House.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I do not rise to offer

any objection. On the contrary, I think the minister is to be commended in view of the high cost of living, high rents, and so on, for increasing the modest salaries of postal employees. Some years ago I took upon myself to give them an increase according to circumstances. I think the hon. gentleman is justified in giving to these faithful employees the same benefits that other classes of employees are receiving. I do not think the country would begrudge the postal employees even a little bigger raise. One point to which I would like to call attention is the fact that the Government has not yet decided whether the outside service is to be put on the same footing as the inside service. It is true that a certain class of employees in the outside service have to pass an examination, but it is not the same kind of examination as is provided by the Civil Service Commission for the inside service. I think the time has come for the Government and Parliament to take a bold stand on this question, and in saying that I think I voice the feelings of all the members of this House, particularly members who sit on your right, Mr. Chairman, as they are most called upon to find positions for their constituents in the Civil Service. Unquestionably the law which was passed some years ago on the inspiration of the Hon. Mr. Fisher, instituting a system of competitive examinations for the inside service, was an excellent law. To-day, members of Parliament and ministers of the Crown can say to all applicants that they have to submit to the law and pass the examination set by the Civil Service Commission before they can

be appointed to the Civil Service. In that way you secure a better service than has hitherto existed. We all know that if in Great Britain they have an excellent civil service,' it is due to their system of competitive examination. I believe that the Hon. Mr. Fisher has no greater title to fame than that he secured such a system for the inside service. In England, no minister of the Crown is hunted by applicants, as we are hunted in this country, because it is a matter of course that all applicants must go before the board of Civil Service commissioners and pass an examination. That is the reason why England has the best civil service in existence. We have adopted that system for the inBide service at Ottawa. Why not extend the principle and bring the outside service under that law? I am quite sure that my hon. friends on the other side of the House, as well as my hon. friends on this side, would favour that. I quite agree that it is not necessary to subject a postmaster who receives $50, $100, or $200 a year to an examination. But for the postal employees in the large cities lilte Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Quebec, Halifax and St. John, and for the customs and inland revenue officers in the large centres, why would it not be a good thing to establish a system of competitive examination? That sentiment exists in the country to-day. The result of the present system is that you do riot get the best men. Since the establishment of the competitive system in the inside service we do not hear of any criticism about the Civil Service.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT:

Suppose a person is to be appointed as assistant in the post office in the town where I live, and I happen to know a man who is a cripple and who can efficiently do the work of the post office, but who is not able to do hard work, would my hon. friend propose to have taken away from me the right of recommending him for the position and have the matter sent to Ottawa for decision? He might have passed the examination, but the fact that he was a cripple and unable to do hard work would not prevail, while the community in which he lived would know that he was admirably qualified for the position.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Air. LEMIEUX:

Of course, my hon.

friend gives a special instance which is only an appeal ad misericordiam. Besides I do not know the population of the place mentioned by my hon. friend.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. W. H. BENNETT:

Let it happen

anywhere.

imj

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

That would, of course, depend upon the population and the business of the post office. . I would classify these post offices. But if we had a competitive system, say, for the Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Winnipeg post offices, would it not be better for the service? The Post-master General and the Minister of Customs know that all the difficulties and weaknesses in the service proceed from the fact that under the present system they are imposed upon by political friends in these different cities. This system of com

pet-itive examination exists in other countries. It exists in the United States. No congressman to-day has the right, as he had some years ago, to impose his choice on the Postmaster General of the United States. They have extended the system from the inside to the outside service, and what some 3rears ago was the shame of the public service in that country, has now become, I am pleased to say, its pride. The United States have reformed completely their civil service, both inside and outside, and we could well afford to imitate them in that regard. I shall reserve to myself the right to add some remarks upon the subject when the Bill of my hon. friend the Postmaster General is before the House. The sentiment for this reform is ripe in the country. The public think that the time has come when all public servants of a certain class- I am not speaking of the extreme lower grades-ought to pass a competitive examination.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

You mean clerks?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

April 3, 1914