May 13, 1916

PUBLIC PRINTING.

PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.


Mr. JOHN A. CURRIE (North Simcoe) moved: That the recommendation contained in the second report of the Joint Committee on Printing, presented to the House on May 11, be concurred in.


CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

If I am in order in speaking at this stage, I wish to enter, on behalf of the Debates Committee, a very strong protest against concurrence in this report.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
Permalink
CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

There are two reports. The report against which the hon. gentleman wishes to speak is the third report, concurrence in which I shall move in a moment. The report to which this motion refers is only a formal one. When I speak on the other I will make an explanation.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE moved:

'

That the recommendation contained in the third report of the Joint Committee on Printing, presented to the House on May 11, be con. curred in.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Would my hon. friend have any objection to having that motion stand until Monday?

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
Permalink
CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

I shall not be here on Monday. Mr. Speaker, the Committee of both Houses on Printing has had under consideration means by which a reduction may be made in the cost of the printing of Parliament. It will be as well for me to read this third report of the committee dealing with this question, which is incorporated in the Votes and Proceedings, so that it may appear on Hansard. The report of the committee of which I am the mouthpiece is as follows:

The committee has had before it for consideration the question of the prevention of waste in public printing and distribution.

The committee has made careful investigation and inquiry, and after referring the matter to a sub-committee for further investigation, beg leave to report as follows:

The committee desire, in the first place, to call attention to the great increase in the cost of parliamentary and departmental printing in recent years. For instance, the expenditure in 1895 was $330,627. In 1915 this had increased to $1,807,390.

Within the past few days the committee has had before it the King's Printer and other offi-

cials of the Department of Public Printing and Stationery. After hearing the testimony of these gentlemen, the committee is of the opinion that great economies can be effected by the adoption of certain changes, both in the manner of printing and distributing. A complete review of the situation from the King's Printer's standpoint is contained in a memorandum which he prepared in March last year, copy of which ia attached hereto, and which it is recommended be printed with this report.

* Dealing first with the distribution lists, because upon these the extent of the printing to be done depends, the committee recommend:

That all distribution be made from the office of the King's Printer, as provided by the Act constituting the Department of Public Printing and Stationery (chapter SO, R.S.C.).

That all departmental mailing lists be sent to the Distribution Branch of the Government Printing Bureau, and that these lists be revised annually by the Distribution Office. This should be done by sending out reply cards tq all individuals on the lists-for any class of Government publication. In the event of no response within a specified time, the name or names to be dropped.

The same practice to be pursued with regard to bound volumes of the sessional papers, over 640 sets of which are now sent out to different institutions. It is estimated that fully half of this quantity is thrown away, and that if the lists be reduced by fifty per cent there will be a saving of at least 9,600 bound volumes.

Distribution lists and the printing of the Debates of both Houses in every case to be referred to the Printing Committee.

Recommendations made to either House by any committee for the printing of evidence taken before it to be referred to the Printing Committee for action.

Reports of special commissions to be referred to the Printing Committee to determine whether they shall be printed, and if so, in what quantities.

The committee is of the opinion that the practice of charging the general public for departmental blue-books and special publications should be strictly , adhered to. The indiscriminate distribution of maps, annual blue-books and special monthly reports has led to many abuses in the past. Instances have been cited by many departments where scores of applications have been received from schools in different parts of the oountry for publications which could not, in the slightest degree, interest the school children applying for them. These books have been asked for probably on the mere mention by some newspaper that they would be sent free. Some deputy ministers are of the opinion that the motive underlying the requests for these reports is the hope that the report will Contain pictures.

In order to expedite the mailing of Governmental publications, it is earnestly recommended that a branoh post office be established in connection with the Distribution Branch of the Department of Public Printing and Stationery, and mail be sent therefrom direct to the railway stations.

With regard to the parliamentary printing which is done under the supervision of the King's Printer, 'the committee is pleased to learn that during the past two or three years changes have been made in the typographical arrangements of several blue-books, whereby considerable economy has been effected. On

[Mr. Currie. 1

these books it is estimated that an annual saving of $15,000 has been made. The King's Printer, however, has no editorial authority, and can only bring about these changes through the good-will of the officials of the several departments.

Attention is called by the committee to the enormous increase in the number of illustrations In annual and special reports. Many of those illustrations are of no value. It is suggested that only such plates be incorporated in parliamentary blue-books as are necessary to a proper understanding of the text.

There is great room for economy in the printing of annual departmental reports, by eliminating entirely technical treaties, complimentary references, lists of staffs of officials, formal introductions and formal signatures, duplication of statistical information, etc. In the latter connection one has only to examine the statistical reports of the Departments of Customs and Trade and Commerce to see the proof of this statement. The committee recommended that where at all possible duplications should be avoided.

The committee recommends that the scope of the monthly Agricultural Gazette be extended, by incorporating with it Seasonable Hints and small bulletins now issued by the Department of Agriculture in leaflet form in order to give them permanent value, and that the Gazette be distributed free to all Canadian farmers who apply for it. This could be accomplished 'without much additional cost by dropping the Bulletin of Foreign Agricultural Intelligence, much of the information contained in which is of little practical value to the Canadian farmer. The best features of the bulletin could be incorporated in the Agricultural Gazette, which should be published in cheaper form. The Bulletin of Agricultural Intelligence has been in existence for over five years and costs annually about JE.400.

The committee would call attention to the large quantities of maps, which are prepared by some sixteen branches of the public service, and which in a large measure are circulated free. The report of the Royal Commission appointed in 1914 to " inquire into the state of the records outlie public departments" called attention to this great division of labour, and suggested " that the whole of the map-making for the Dominion Government might be carried on more effectively and economically under the direction of a central authority." We would recommend that this work be supervised by the Department of Public Printing, with absolute authority to prevent useless duplication or overlapping.

The committee would further recommend that all " copy '' for the printer be typewritten. Instances innumerable have beeA noted of the great waste of public funds through bad eali-graphy and consequent corrections of proof. Last year at the Government Bureau the cost of author's corrections was $48,376. This was a decrease of $5,666 over the previous year, but the committee is satisfied that this charge can be largely reduced by the exercise of greater care in the preparation of " copy."

As already pointed out, the King's Printer and the bureau staff have no authority to make any changes in the text of any parliamentary or departmental document. Recognizing that thousands of pages of reports of no value are printed annually, the committee is of the opinion that to revise copy to avoid redundancy

and over-lapping, a board of editors of parliamentary and departmental publications should be established by the Government to work in conjunction with the King's Printer. To this board all reports and publications should be referred, and authority should be vested tn such a board to decide what should or what should not be printed. The committee is of opinion that such a board, properly constituted, with wide editorial powers, could save the country thousands of dollars annually.

Dealing first with the matter of distribution, which is the primary source of waste, the report says:

That all distribution be made from the office of the King's Printer, as provided by the Act constituting the Department of Public Printing and Stationery (Chapter 80, R.S.C.).

That all departmental mailing lists be sent to the Distribution Branch of the Government Printing Bureau, and that these lists be revised annually by the Distribution Office. This should be done by sending out reply cards to all individuals on the lists-for any class of Government publication. In the event of no response within a specified time, the name or names to be dropped.

The procedure as laid down by this Act is that each department shall have a mailing list which shall be sent to the King's Printer, and, as the various reports are printed, they shall be distributed according to that mailing list from the King's Printer's office. But the procedure, in fact, is that each department or committee has a large number of copies of documents printed for itself; in fact, nearly the whole issue is sent to it. Then at the department is established a mailing branch, which, half the time, is not employed, and these books and papers are distributed by this branch. The idea of your Committee on Printing is, that each department should send its list to the King's Printer, and that in the Printing Bureau there should be one general distribution office, as provided for by the Act. This method of distribution would avoid duplication of dis^ tribution staff to a very large extent. It often happens that the same name will be on the list of different departments, causing duplication in the issue,of some of the documents. This duplication and waste is shown in the report in the following paragraph : .

The committee desire, in the first place, to call attention to the great increase in the cost of parliamentary and departmental printing in recent years. For instance, the expenditure in 1895 was $330,627. In 1915 this had increased to $1,807,390.

Each department charges its printing against the vote over which this committee is supposed to exercise some supervision. The amount that each department therefore

spends does not appear as an item in the estimates of each department. One source of waste is the lack of supervision of the various departmental lists. For instance, a man's name is put on the list for a certain publication-let us say for the Votes and Proceedings of this House, which make a large shelf of books. These books are sent to that man's address year after year. We find on inquiring that there are names on the list of men who have been dead for five or ten years, or who have moved away, and the books are still going to their address at great cost and waste to the public. It is proposed that a reply card should be sent out to each name on the list once a year. If the person still wishes to receive the public documents he sends back the card with intimation of his wish. In that way a check can be kept on the documents sent out. It may be that a certain document is required for only one year; but once a name is on the list we continue firing books at that mark, and the bulk of the books so wasted is so great that the printing bills of this country have been increased by about a million and a half dollars a year. It is necessary that this abuse should be stopped. If the person to whom the supply card is sent neglects to intimate his wish for a continuance of his name on the list, we are only wasting time in sending him these books. The department, in this way, will have some basis to' calculate the number of books to be published. It is now mere guess-work, and thousands of tons of books are published every year merely to be destroyed-to be thrown aside as junk. It is not necessary for me to urge upon Parliament the duty of considering means of saving money. We-are carrying on an advertising campaign in favour of Production and Thrift. If we take our own advice in regard to this matter of printing we can save from half a million to three-quarters of a million dollars a year.

The same practice to be 'pursued with regard to bound volumes of the sessional papers, over 640 sets of which are now sent out to-different institutions. It is estimated- thaf fully half of this quantity is thrown away, and that if the lists be reduced by fifty per cent there will be a saving of at least 9,600-bound volumes.

These bound volumes of sessional papers we are sending out still to mechanics' institutes in Ontario, organizations many of them that have ceased to exist, having been replaced by public libraries. The printing department should know whether the institutions and individuals to whom-

they are sending these papers are alive or not, and whether they desire to receive these documents.

The next paragraph refers to the Debates of this House, and this is the point regarding which my hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner) says he wishes to protest.

Distribution lists and the printing of the

Debates of both Houses in every case to be referred to the Printing Committee.

The Printing Committee has no desire to interfere with the form of the debates or anything in that connection. But the Debates Committee have been sending out copies of the debates to a great many people. The Debates can be purchased by any person who wants them for so much per annum, but the Debates Committee have been in the habit of putting a number of people on the free list from all over the country.

If a member asks it, Hansard is sent to half-a-dozen men in his Tiding. These Hansards that go out every day are published at great expense. Once they start going to a man they never stop, whether the persons to whom they are sent be alive or dead. If any one wants a public document of this House, and does not want to pay for it, the procedure is to go to the Printing Committee. Our suggestion is that the regulations in this respeot be carried out by the Debates Committee, and that they should not be overridden by any committee of the House. It is not our desire to interfere in any way with the rights of the Debates Committee; but, if the Debates Committee want an increase in the number of official reports published to the extent of ten, twenty, or fifty per day, they should ask the Printing Committee for that privilege, because the Printing Committee has to pay for them out of the miscellaneous appropriation and is blamed for the great increase in the cost of printing. (Reading):

The committee is of the opinion -that the practice of charging the general public for departmental blue-books and special publications should be strictly adhered to. The indiscriminate distribution of maps, annual blue-books and special monthly reports has led to many abuses in the past. Instances have been cited by many departments where scores of applications have been received from schools in different .parts of the country for publications which could not, in the slightest degree, interest the school children applying for them. These books have been asked for probably on the mere mention by some newspaper that they would be sent free. Some deputy ministers are of the opinion that the motive underlying the requests for these reports is the hope that the report will contain pictures.

Blue-books can be purchased by the ordinary voter at nominal prices. If a member wants blue-books or a series of parlia-' mentary books sent annually to a friend, he can make the request through the clerk of the Printing Committee. In that respect the Printing Committee has been very generous; there is no desire on the part of the committee to disregard the wishes of members. If a member informs the clerk of the Printing Committee that he desires certain maps, books or things of that kind to be sent to certain persons, the committee is quite willing to comply with his wishes, because we are the servants of the members of this House. But we do not want the outside public to make demands that books and valuable publications of this kind be furnished to them free of charge, because a price is set upon them according to the law of the land.

The next recommendation is:

In order to expedite the mailing of Governmental publications, it is earnestly recommended that a branch post office be established in connection with the Distribution Branch of the Department of Public Printing and Stationery, and mail be sent therefrom direct to the railway station.

Under the procedure at present, these books are taken from the Printing Bureau to the various departments; they are prepared for forwarding, franked and sent to the post office. The establishing of a branch post office at the Printing Bureau would effect a reduction of the general postal work and of a great deal of the haulage which is necessary under the present procedure. It would involve much less cost to the department to send a letter to the Printing Bureau asking that certain publications, be sent out than it does to have a wagon or truck go to the Bureau, bring the publications to the department and have them sent back again with a truck to the post office. The idea is to have the distribution and mailing work all done at the Printing Bureau, where the proper facilities could be afforded.

The next paragraph of the report says:

With regard to the parliamentary printing which is done under the supervision of the King's Printer, the committee is pleased to learn that during the past two or three years changes have been made in the typographical arrangements of several blue-books, whereby considerable economy has been effected. On these books it is estimated that an annual saving of $15,000 has been made. The King's Printer, however, has no editorial authority, and can only bring about these changes through the good-will of the officials of the several departments.

For the last year or so the King's Printer and the officials of his department and other departments have been earnestly attempting to effect a reduction in the size of the blue-books. The idea is to reduce the size of some of the tabulated statements by putting them in smaller type or condensation. By this method some publications have been reduced in size from three volumes to one volume. In cases where a tabulated statement is printed on two pages, with one heading in French and one in English, the heading is put on one statement in both languages, thus effecting a saving of space. The idea of this clause is to inform hon. gentlemen that work is now being carried on along the lines recommended by the committee, and that, with their approval, the committee desires your approval and intends to continue it. (Reading):

Attention is called by the committee to the enormous increase in the number of illustrations in annual and special reports. Many of these illustrations are of 'no value. It is suggested that only such plates be incorporated in parliamentary blue-books as are necessary to a proper understanding of the text.

I quite approve of illustrations in departmental books which relate to the text, but in many cases illustrations are inserted in connection with geological work and so on -Indians carrying canoes, and that sort of thing-which involve a good deal of expense. It is the view of the committee that economy could be effected by a change in that regard. (Reading):

There is great room for economy in the printing of annual departmental reports, by eliminating entirely technical treaties, con-plimentary references, lists of staffs of officials, formal introductions and formal signatures, duplication of statistical information, etc. In tha latter connection one has only to examine the statistical reports of the Departments of Customs and Trade of Commerce to see the proof of this statement. The committee recommended that where at all possible duplications should be avoided.

In many of these publications there are technical references which can be understood by no one who is not a technical student or a professor at a university. In the second place, many complimentary references are made to officials of departments. Sometimes half a page or a page which costs the country $2,000 or $3,000, is taken up with a statement that so and so has joined a certain branch and is now in charge of certain work. There should be some editorial supervision of these trivial matters. It is to be noted that the statistics of the Department of Trade and Commerce and those of the Department of Customs are almost identical, figure for figure, and are published in large books. We think that better results would be obtained by issuing one book instead of two, which would contain far more information than is contained in the two at the present time. The United States has a publication of that kind, the Statistical Abstract, in which you can get everything you want. We do not deprecate the publication of these reports; they are very necessary, but the question is whether we can avoid duplication. The committee has cut out the Monthly Abstract, which was issued by the Department of Customs. For my part, I think that some simplified form of that abstract should be issued monthly; but by some collaboration or editorial supervision much more valuable information could be given and the interests of the service more adequately preserved.

We do not wish to interfere with the work of any department, but we are anxious to do everything possible to increase the usefulness of the publications and, with the co-operation of the departments, to reduce their cost. (Reading):

The committee recommends that the scope of the monthly Agricultural Gazette be extended, by incorporating with it Seasonable Hints and small bulletins now issued by the Department of Agriculture in leaflet form in order to give them .permanent value, and that the Gazette be distributed free to all Canadian farmers who apply for it. This could be accomplished without much additional cost, by dropping the Bulletin of Foreign Agricultural Intelligence, much of the information contained in which is of little practical value to the Canadian farmer. The best features of the bulletin could be incorporated in the Agricultural Gazette, which should be published in cheaper form. The Bulletin of Agricultural Intelligence has been in existence for over five years and costs annually about $9,400.

The Bulletin is sent out to practically all farmers, and contains 50 or 60 pages. The Agricultural Gazette, a most excellent publication also, has a very large circulation; but not nearly as large as that of the Bulletin. The paper used in the Gazette is of the highest and most expensive quality; it is first-class book paper, costing possibly three times as much as the paper on which Hansard is printed. Paper of that class is increasing in cost, and probably next year it will cost twice as much as it does this year. The suggestion here made is that the Gazette and the Bulletin be incorporated in one monthly volume, on cheaper paper, and that it be sent to all the farmers on the free list, so that we will have a most valuable publication issued monthly free in such

a form that farmers will keep it for reference, and not destroy it as they do many of the Bulletins,, etc., now sent to them. Many valuable treatises are now thrown away by the farmers, which would be preserved if they were issued in some such form as is suggested. That is only a suggestion, but that one change would save possibly $15,000 to $25,000 a year.

Another paragraph of the report reads:

The committee would call attention to the large quantities of maps, which are .prepared by some sixteen branches of the public service, and which in a large measure are circulated free. The report of the Royal Commission appointed in 1914 to "inquire into the state of the records of the public departments" called attention to this great division of labour, and suggested " that the whole of the map-making for the Dominion Government might be carried on more effectively and economically under the direction of a central authority." We would recommend that this work be supervised by the Department of Public Printing, with absolute authority to prevent useless duplication or overlapping.

It will be observed that there are sixteen branches of the public service in Ottawa each having a staff of men preparing maps, and these maps are, in many cases, of such a nature that the information given on two or three of them could be given on one map, which would be a great saving. We suggest that that work should be mobilized under the control of the Department of Public Printing. We do not want to interfere with the issue of these maps, but we feel that it should not he left to some officials in one department to say that a map shall be published simply because he wants to give out certain information. That should be submitted to an editorial department having power to decide whether any map should be published. The report continues:

Tjhe committee would further recommend that all " copy " for the printer be type-written. Instances innumerable have been noted of the great waste of public funds through bad caligraphy and consequent corrections of proof. Last year at the Government Bureau the cost of "author's" corrections was $48,376.

" Author's corrections" are changes made after the copy is set up in type. These corrections are attributable to carelessness in the preparation of the copy. The copy is thrown at the printers without being edited. It is set up in type and those who sent it to the Bureau then tear the proof to pieces, so that in many cases the proof has to be revised three or four times. The report says:

This was a decrease of $5,666 over the previous year, but the committee is satisfied that

this charge can be largely reduced by the exercise of greater care in the preparation of " copy."

The report goes on:

As already pointed out, the King's Printer and the Bureau staff have no authority to make any changes in the text of any parliamentary or departmental document. Recognizing that thousands of pages of reports of no value are printed annually, the committee is of the opinion that to revise copy and to avoid redundancy and overlapping, a board of editors of Parliamentary and Departmental publications should be established by the Government to work in conjunction with the King's Printer. To this board all reports and publications should be referred, and authority should be vested in such a board to decide what should or what should not be printed. The committee is of opinion that such a board properly constituted, with wide editorial powers, could save the country thousands of dollars annually.

That board would not cost the country one cent additional. It would consist of an officer from each of the leading departments that print reports, and, working^ in the public interest,rtt would do everything possible to reduce the duplication of volumes and cost of public printing and would see that the copy sent to the Bureau was edited and put in proper shape for the printers. I think that every department having a large amount of printing to be done would be willing to delegate an able member of its staff to serve on such a hoard. This board would meet at the Printing Bureau once or twice a week for a few hours to pass editorially on all publications.'

The committee have appended to their report the memorandum of the King's Printer, from which it will be observed that this question of reducing the great cost of Government printing has been the subject of inquiry in the United States as well as in Canada. The matter has been before our committee again and again during the time I have been a member of it, and it has been debated in the Senate. I feel satisfied that, if Parliament should see its way clear to accept these recommendations, the committee would be able to report at the next session a saving of fully half a million dollars. The adoption of this report would not interfere with the present functions of any department or person. The idea is simply to co-ordinate the work of the different departments and of the King's Printer, in order that the best results may accrue.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

As we have not had an opportunity of perusing this report,

I would ask that it be allowed to stand until Tuesday.

Motion withdrawn.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
Permalink

QUESTIONS.


[Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.]


JOHN LYONS.


Mr. VEfrVILLE: 1., Is John Lyons an employee of the Exchequer Court, in the Department of Justice? 2. If not, was he dismissed? 3. If dismissed, what was the reason for the dismissal?


CON

Mr. DOHERTY: (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. John Lyons is not an employee of the Exchequer Court. He was temporarily engaged at $2 per day by the Registrar of the Supreme Court to assist the messengers when additional assistance was required during the sessions, his engagement being from day to day as his services were desired by the Registrar.

2. His services have been dispensed with.

3. Because the Registrar considered it desirable in the administration of his office, and this man had already received employment beyond the period of six months allowed by the Civil Service Act for temporary employees.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JOHN LYONS.
Permalink

MARTIN'S RIVER MAIL SERVICE.

LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

Who is the postmaster at Martin's River, Lunenburg county, N.S., and when was the appointment made?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MARTIN'S RIVER MAIL SERVICE.
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Mrs. Stella Langille is postmistress at Martin's River, N.S. She was appointed on 15th April, 1912.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MARTIN'S RIVER MAIL SERVICE.
Permalink
LIB

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

Liberal

1. Who is the contractor for the mail service between Martin's Point post office and Martin's River railway station, Lunenburg county, N.S.?

2. (a) Were tenders asked for the said service? If so, (b) what were the names of persons who tendered, and the amount of their respective tenders?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MARTIN'S RIVER MAIL SERVICE.
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

1/James Shupe.

2. (a) Yes. (b) Burton Langille, $270

per annum; John B. Mosher, $290 per annum; Charles Sartee, $340 per annum; James Shupe, $350 per annum; G. F. Shupe, $350 per annum. The contract was awarded to Burton Langille, the lowest tenderer, but he was unable to provide the necessary security. James. Shupe having offered to perform the service at the rate of Langille's * tender, the contract was given to him.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MARTIN'S RIVER MAIL SERVICE.
Permalink

May 13, 1916