criticism of the Fredericton agency, of course that agency does the same character of work as the others. But as to the agency in St. John, that is a general agency and has to handle immigrants that are going through to other parts of the country. There is a detention hospital there which cost $4,000 or more, and that is included in the expenditure of the agency. It would not be right to leave the impression that the expense of the St. John agency is attributable merely to the work of bringing immigrants into New Brunswick.
That, of course, is a very important port. During the summer
months, many vessels come there. We have a very -good hospital there, and extensive accommodation for immigrants. The whole staff there, including doctors, officials and employees, numbers about 51 persons.
I just wish to point out that while the immigrants entering at the port of Quebec have decreased, the expenses of maintaining the staff has not decreased by one per cent. Included in that staff are medical men who have their private practice and who would not be thrown on the street if their services in connection with immigration were dispensed with. I have no doubt there are other employees also in the same position.
If my hon. friend had an agency in the Old Country maintained
by a staff of ten men,, he would be the last man on earth to keep those men employed over there after the outbreak of war, if they could do no business. He would be the first one, and he would be perfectly right, in cutting the expenditure in two at least, and that is all we are asking the hon. minister to do. It will be no discredit to Canada to adopt a system of economy in respect of this service when we can get no results from it at the present time.
I am aware of that, but the members of our immigration staff are not consuls. At the present time they cannot accomplish anything, though that is not their fault. We do not suggest that when the war is over this work should not be resumed, but at a time when every man, woman and child in Canada, outside of the Government, is practising economy, why should not the Government practice it as well?
In looking over the list of officials in the Old Country, I find that Mr. Obed Smith is the highest paid official; he receives a salary of $4,000 a year. Does my hon. friend suggest that his salary should be cut off and that he should be dismissed?
I intend to support the proposal of the hon. member for St. John city to cut this vote in two, and I leave it to my hon. friend the minister to decide who shall be dismissed and who shall be kept on. I should not like to suggest that this one or that one should be dismissed, though if the minister asks me to do so, and will agree to carry out my suggestion, I will very quickly say who ought to be dismissed and who ought not. To my mind it is an utter absurdity to go on spending more money year by year on a service of this kind at a time like this. I do not agree [DOT]with the hon. member for Perth in the suggestion that it would be a disgrace to Canada if we should economize in this respect. The objection to this economy on the part of hon. gentlemen opposite is absolute evidence of the fact that while they talk of economy they have not the slightest intention of trying to practice it.