April 25, 1917

LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU (Translation):

You

would be' quite at a loss to point to any specific cases.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY:

I recall immediately a

man by the name of Russell who was im' ported by the liberal party, and also one McGovern, both of whom were most objectionable men. There are many others whose names I do not recall, but if the hon. member for Temiscouata should insist, I might supply him with the list not later than to-morrow.

I have no fault to find with the general manager, Mr. Gutdlius, as regards his courtesy, civility, manners and his general ability as manager of the Intercolonial. But even admitting his fitness for the position, of which I have no doubt, yet it must be said old officials of the Intercolonial could have been found fully competent to fill this post. But no complaints have as yet been heard. If Mr. Gutelius's appointment as head manager had been the only one of the kind, if instead of strangers being brought in to fill the vacancies, old employees had received promotion, or again had those strangers once appointed given satisfaction, I should keep silent and admit that the appointments were made in the public interest. But facts point to a different conclusion. Last year, it may be remembered, or perhaps is it two years ago, I voiced a complaint against Mr. Devonish who had been .appointed superintendent at Campellton notwithstanding my protests. At the time of the appointment, my adverse attitude was commended; Mr. Devonish had been imported from another country, Ireland, I believe; at any rate, he certainly had never been previously on the staff of that railway. As superintendent he was a dismal failure. All winter the trains were snowbound on the Intercolonial between Mont-Joli and Campbellton due to Mr. Devonish being absolutely unacquainted with the road, on which he had never been employed, and with the climate of the country. No more incompetent person could have been secured for the position. Fortunately last winter his place has been taken by an old Intercolonial railwayman who had twenty-five to thirty years' experience and who is proof how much better service can be obtained by promoting employees than

by filling vacancies with outsiders. Not-withstand that the past winter was very severe, trains were operated regularly on the Mont-Joli-Campbellton section. There have been delays of course, but no complaints were heard regarding the inefficiency of the management as in the previous year.

Another remark concerns the men on the Campbellton-Mont-Joli division as well as all the employees of the road.

It just comes to me that the hon. member for Temiscouata asked for names. He must recall Mr. Brady who was brought in by the late government and who did not prove to be one of the very clever men.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

He did better at any rate than your Mr. Gutelius, of whom you complain.

M. BOULAY: Mr. McNeillie was another general superintendent selected from the staff of the Canadian Pacific. What practical acquaintance did he have with the Intercolonial, to warrant his being appointed general manager from Halifax to Montreal? He was a very nice man, very courteous and polite, but could not old employees be found just as civil and competent? Some twenty superior officials come from the Canadian Pacific and the Grand Trunk railways; they hold positions which could have been filled as effectively by Intercolonial railwaymen. What ambition can there be in a man who starts at the bottom rung, as an operator or switchman, if he knows that the authorities have no intention of promoting him as a reward for his good work?

I complained also on different occasions that for the last forty-five years that part of the line that crosses the counties of Ri-mouski and especially Matane is operated by men from New-Brunswick. I made many attempts to obtain redress, but to this day I have always been unable to persuade the Intercolonial management that this section should be handled by men from the province of 'Quebec. The late Government should have understood that it was unfair that matters pertaining to the province of Quebec be always controlled by people from other provinces. Are not the men on the Montreal-Mont-Joli section quite competent? Why is the Mont-Joli-Moncton section kept under the management of men who do not speak French and seem to make it a point not to understand the language? It would be easy to create a new division from Montreal to Campbellton, as I often advocated, and to appoint one or two super-

intendents, if necessary, who would have charge of the whole line in the province of Quebec. I am again referring to the section between Mont-Joli and 'Campbellton which comprises 105 miles, of which only twelve run into New Brunswick. Why should that whole section be operated, by New Brunswickers, when only twelve miles of the line run into their province? Such a practice is unfair to the French-Canadian patrons of the road, a large number of whom do not speak English. They have to deal with superintendents, freight agents and yard masters who cannot understand them. Why persist in allowing such grievances to exist when by a mere stroke of the pen the whole situation could be remedied to everyone's satisfaction. My contention is borne out by the fact that Mr. Gutelius has transferred the train despatches of the Levis Riviere-du-Loup section to Levis, and the Levis train despatchers run the section from Levis to Riviere-du-Loup, while the train despatchers of the Riviere-du-Loup section run the section from Rivi-ere-du-Loup to Mont Joli, and the Mont Joli-Campbellton section is run by the New Brunswick office to Campbellton, that is to say backwards. Now the division from Riviere-du-Loup to Montreal is operated from Levis, while that from Riviere-du-Loup to Mont Joli is operated from Riviere-du-Loup and from Mont Joli to Campbellton the line is controlled from the New Brunswick office at Campbellton. Can anything be more unfair? Why is it persisted in? Is it that I have the honour to represent the county of Rimoueki-Ma-tane, or in order to cause annoyance to the employees? I hope my words this year will be heard and the situation remedied. The *train despatcher's office at Campbellton could just as easily be located at Mont-Joli. It would be to the benefit of the road, as those in charge would be familiar with the line and the people they would have to deal with, while the Campbellton men know nothing of the road, the slopes and the weather conditions along the line. I am quite .aware that the latter men would not find the transfer to Mont-Joli congenial, but after all it is not of our making if they do not understand the two languages as we do, and if they are not satisfied they are always at liberty to remain in New Brunswick, to which province they rightly belong.

I would like to call attention to another grievance which constantly entails friction and animosities between the two races. Instead of fomenting troubles, every one of us should strive in his own sphere to eliminate any cause of disagreement. Thus when

French-Canadian applicants are called upon to pass examinations for brakemen or firemen, those examinations should be conducted in French as on the other western divisions. But it is not done. If a man from Rimouski or Matane applies for such a position, he passes his examination at Campbellton before examiners who do not understand French and who, when they are so-minded, put all kinds of difficulties in the way of the candidate and cause him to fall out with hie representative in Parliament and renounce his own party. Such is the case. I asked Mr. Gutelius to have the applicants examined in French, either at Riviere-du-Loup or Levis. I hope this small favour will be granted. Such grievances are easy of redress if you only set about doing it. All kinds of petty means are taken to bring about the failure of the candidates. After being examined at Camp-bellton on the "Standard Rules" which are printed only in English, when there should be copies in both languages, they are sent to Moncton to be examined on colours. If the members of this House knew how many colours the applicants are called upon to distinguish, some hundred of them, they would be surprised at the possible extent of human stupidity. The colours are placed before them and they are asked to explain the difference between the different shades. It seems to me that the colours in use on railways are not so complicated; why not stick to the three colours used, red, green and white? Why require them to distinguish between all the colours of the rainbow? If, perchance, the unfortunate applicant mentions the French name of a colour placed before him, he is refused and sent back home. I wish to apprise the House of those facts, so that the members may understand to what length these vexations go. I was a railwayman myself for some time and know all about it. An examination is also made of the eyesight. I always thought that normally a man sees with both eyes; but the candidate is asked to read with his left hand or his right hand over one eye. If he cannot read with one eye closed, he is not accepted. I know many people who cannot read with only one eye, and yet read quite well with both? Where is the man who does not constantly make use of both eyes? Those minutiae it seems to me, are ridiculous and merely a source of annoyance to the applicant. Why not examine him with both his eyes open and see whether he is short sighted or not.

For some years past I advocated the employment of French-Oanadians on the dining cars, especially from Campbellton to Mont-

real. Something has been done as a result, but we have not yet obtained complete justice. All winter, while the local and express services were suspended, a dining-car was run between St. Leonards and Montreal, and not one single man on the car understood French; meanwhile, the French-speaking waiters were kept on the Nova-Scotia and New-Brunswick divisions, where a knowledge of French on the dining-cars is not requisite.

I must also take exception to the cancelling of the local train during a part of the winter. On the Campbellton-Moneton division, although the number o>f passengers is not more than a quarter of what it is in my county, a local service was kept up all winter. From Riviere-du-Loup to Levis, the train was run as usual, but from Riviere-du-Loup to Campbellton it was cancelled,

' although it is one of the best paying parts of the line. The train was resumed again only lately.

Those are small grievances which are such as to provoke unnecessarily a part of the population and one wonders how it is that a part of the province of Quebec is thus unfairly dealt with when another section is well treated.

A few years ago what are called the "Standard Rules" were contrived. Well, I have a lot of experience with railway rules and when a knowledge of the Standard Rules was required of applicants, I refrained from criticism because I wished to examine them first. All I have to say is that they have been in force for the last two years and they have proven a real failure. They put the life of passengers in jeopardy and cause much annoyance to the railwaymen themselves by placing most of the responsibility for the running of the train on the conductor. Instead of giving him instructions, as was done before, to meet another train at a particular point, he is simply told that such a passenger train is so many hours late. The unfortunate conductor must at each station make a computation to see if a train running behind him or in the opposite direction will reach him at any particular siding. It is nothing but computation and worry and the conductor can scarcely hear the strain. I fail to see why this system was adopted, because it makes the position unbearable for the train employees and endangers the lives of the travelling public. A mistake in the number of hours a train is late may result in a collision.

Now what about the medical examination and the medical examiners for the Superannuation Fund of the Intercolonial? Here

again the French-Canadians are submitted to gross discrimination. The employees on the Montreal-Mont-Joli division are required to repair to Moncton to be examined by physicians who do not speak a word of French. The applicants have to get interpreters and often return without having obtained satisfaction. Why not appoint a practitioner from the province of Quebec who could do the work as well as the Moncton doctors. It is a small matter and putting it right would satisfy the people. This is one of the grievances, and the employees on the Intercolonial suffer grievances, as they have proven by their vote at the last election.

The French-Oanadians in the province of Quebec labour under another disadvantage. I often had occasion to call at the public offices of the Intercolonial at Moncton and, except Mr. Melan^on, not one of of the employees speak both languages although there are twenty-five to thirty high officials who are paid fairly big salaries, judging from the list I shall give out. There are many in the province of Quebec who would willingly accept the remuneration. Here are some of the salaries paid to heads of departments: E. P. Gutelius, general manager, $00,000; Superintendent of Car Service, $200 monthly; Alward, General Solicitor, $5,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU (Translation) :

The latter was brought from Ottawa to replace Mr. Caron.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

Quite likely. C. B. Brown, Chief Engineer, $6,000; Shannon, Comptroller and Treasurer, $5,000; Story, General Freight Agent, $416.66 monthly; Allen, General Baggage Agent, $126 per month; Joughins, Superintendent of Motive Power, $400 per month.

The member for Temiscouata might take note that this man was appointed by his own party.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU (Translation) :

You cannot say he is unfit; he is one of the best men on the Intercolonial.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

Possibly; I am not discussing his ability; he is not a French-Canadian. C. E. Smith, Master Car Builder, $3,600; Apppleton, General Master Mechanics, $3,600; Simpson, General Fuel Agent, $3,600; W. R, Devonish, Superintendent, $275 per month. There are others, but I do not wish to take all the time of the House. All those big salaries go to men who do not come from the province of Quebec and none of whom understand a single word of French. Here is room, it seems, for improvement,

if it were desired to treat us fairly, I called lately in an office at Monoton, where twelve men were employed, and not one spoke French, except a young stenographer. To my question whether she earned more than the others, she replied that she had the smallest salary. Does it not eeem that an employee speaking both languages should in justice receive higher pay than any who can use only one language, especially when the knowledge of French is apt to help an important section of the public, such as the French-speaking population of Canada?

I shall not speak any longer to the resolution; but I hope the Minister of Railways will heed my remarks and prove he understands their capital importance by giving justice to the French element in Canada. If you wish to encourage the present members of the Civil Service, the best plan is to adapt a system of promotions. I had occasion now and then to recommend certain employees for promotion; the answer came back from Moncton, without the applicants being examined or even when the authorities knew nothing of them: " the men you recommend are not competent." Here is a case in point. I complained again t the appointment on the division of the Intercolonial in which my constituency is comprised of a man by the name of Bovard who had been dismissed from the Transcontinental because he could not speak French. I remonstrated that we had no use for the man and that the position should have been given to a man from my district; I suggested two names; those two men were quite competent, with twenty years' experience, being qualified even to be superintendents; but my recommendation was turned down, without the men being known or being examined; I believe the Minister himself wrote to me: "Your men are not competent". It is the stereotyped answer when French-Canadians apply for positions of some importance. I submit those facts to the House, and especially to the attention of the Minister of Railways, if he cares in the least to deal fairly by the people of the Province of Quebec.

Hon. WILLIAM PUG8LEY (St. John): Mr. Speaker, in the resolution which the bon. member for Rimoueki (Mr. Boulay) has presented to the House there is a great deal that is deserving of support. From what I have heard of the hon. gentleman's administration of the patronage of his county, as well as in adjoining counties, I do not wonder that the Minister of Railways sometimes feels * rather reluctant to

agree to his recommendations, and I can well understand that the minister may sometimes do an injustice to people along the line of the Intercolonial railway

4 p.m. just because of th'e persistent and sometimes unfair pressure brought to bear on him by the hon. gentleman I say this particularly because I know the activities of the hon gentleman have not been confined to his own constituency, but that on more than one occasion he has come down into the province of New Brunswick and tried to take away from men whn may fairly be entitled to some voice with the minister any influence they may have. The hon. gentleman's influence extends through the county of Rimouski and into the county of Mada-vaska, and I do not know, without knowledge of all the circumstances, that I can very much blame the Minister of Railways for not paying special attention to the representations of the hon. gentleman who has moved this motion; but at the same time, I think the Minister of Railways ought to give some consideration to the special question raised by this resolution. Although I do not quite agree with its terms, with the [DOT]spirit of it I entirely agree. Thie resolution states':

That, in the opinion of this House, the employees on the Government railway should be promoted to official positions on that line before allowing the General Manager to employ strangers.

In the management of any large business, whether it is the business of a railway or a commercial oi manufacturing business, that is a principle which might well be adhered to. Take for instance the [DOT]Canadian Pacific Railway Company, which perhaps ought to be the model for railway [DOT]management, although it may not be just and proper to put that railway company [DOT]ahead of the Grand Trunk, because the [DOT]management of the Grand Trunk has been exceedingly good; I understand it is a principle on those railroads that when a young man enters one of their offices, even in a humble capacity, [DOT]he can, if he attends to his duties, [DOT]look forward to the time when he [DOT]may occupy the position of superintendent of the line or even a higher position. The [DOT]same is true in the United States in the case of great manufacturing companies like the Bethlehem Steel, where some forty thousand people are employed. A boy who enters the employment of that company merely as a messenger boy can look forward with hope and confidence to the time when he

may occupy a position of great responsibility. It is the same with the Armours, -who employ between thirty and forty thousand people, and with other big concerns in the United States, and that is the only way to ensure loyalty on the part of the employees of any great company. In the case of the Intercolonial Railway, however, since this Government have come into office, the heads of the employees have been cut off almost indiscriminately. First it is the Board of Management who are deprived of their positions; then it is the engineer of permanent way, a splendid official, one who has given years of service to the Intercolonial, but who, without reason, is dismissed, and a gentleman from another railroad, -Who had never before been connected with the Intercolonial, is brought in to take his place. The same is true with regard to the general traffic manager. Although he had given satisfaction to the public and discharged his duties faithfully, he is dismissed by this Government and another gentleman is brought in from another railroad to fill his position. So you might take the cases of gentlemen occupying positions of responsibility in which they had served *the public and the country well, who have been dismissed without rhyme or reason and strangers brought in to take their places. That is not the proper method; of managing a great railroad. I am told by gentlemen who are familiar with the condition of affairs at Moncton that many of the old employees do not know to-day whether or not, when they wake up to-morrow, they will still be in the employ of the Intercolonial, there being no security of employment. The result is that the feeling of loyalty amongst the employees is destroyed, their ambition is crushed, they are prevented from giving the highest service which a man is capable of giving to his employer, and the consequence is that the service on the railroad is very much impaired. The Minister of Railways apparently trusts everything to Mr. Gutelius, but he ought to look into this matter himself. I have nothing to say against Mr. Gutdlius, personally, but I claim that he is no better than the men v>ho have been discharged to make room for him. I am told that he brought into the Intercolonial a number of American citizens, some men from Ontario, some from the Grand Trunk, and some from the Canadian Pacific. I am told that even typists and ordinary clerks are brought in from other railroads or other parts of the Dominion to take positions on the Intercolonial at Moncton, and instead

,of these positions being given to those who are already employed and who have given good service, the latter are passed over and others taken in to fill the places that properly belong to these older employees. Has the operation of the Intercolonial been such as to be approved by the public? I submit not. From my observations, I do not believe the management of the Intercolonial was ever so bad as it is to-day. During the past winter there was scarcely a week in which the newspapers had not an account of a wreck on the Intercolonial.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

Scarcely a day.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

What excuse is there

fpr wrecks? Is not the reason that somebody has neglected his duty, that somebody has been guilty of an oversight or want of care? Is it not because there is not that devotion to duty amongst the employees of the Intercolonial which there would be if the same system that is pursued in regard tp employment of officials on other railrpads were pursued in regard to the employees of the Intercolonial? The history of the Intercolonial during the past winter has been a history of mismanagement, neglect, destruction of property and inconvenience to the travelling public. I cannot speak of what the roadbed is like in all the sections of the Dominion through which that railway passes, but I know that on quite a number of occasions trains have left the track on account of broken rails. The other day, within three miles of the city of St. John, a suburban train ran off the track and the passengers had to walk into the the city. That is only one instance of inconvenience to passengers which are occurring on the Intercolonial railroad and which are an evidence of want of care on the part of the management. These things would not occur with proper oversight and care, and it would almost seem as if under the management of the 'Intercolonial it isa question of balancing lpss of life and accident to passengers and employees against the cost which will be incurred by managing the road efficiently and seeing that proper service is obtained from those-who are employed on the line.

With regard to train accommodation, the Intercolonial has now been in operation for a great many years between Montreal, St. John, Halifax, the Sydneys and all parts of Nova Scotia, and I declare to you, Sir, that the service has never within my recollection been so unsatisfactory as it is now. In former years there was some en-

couragement given to travel between the great commercial city of St. John and points on the north shore of the province. The people of St. John were also encouraged to travel to Quebec and Montreal by the Intercolonial, with which road we had direct connection at Moncton. But to-day that is all done away with, and apparently no attention is paid to the comfort or convenience of people who wish to travel from St. John to the north shore of the province or to Quebec and Montreal. Any one leaving St. John for the north shore or for Quebec has to take a local train to Moncton, and wait there from one to three hours until he can catch a train going to the north or to Quebec, and the same thing applies on the return journey. No attention whatever is paid now to the comfort and convenience of the travelling public. Formerly we used to have a very good suburban service on the Intercolonial, but when I was down at St. John recently I found that that had all been changed, and to-day the suburban service from the country districts ipto the city of St. John is not much better than it was twenty years ago; it is certainly not as good as it was a couple of years ago, or even last year. These changes for the worse seem to have been made without any reason. I do not intend to take up any time in elaborating these just grounds for public complaint, as other hon. gentlemen will no doubt speak on this motion, and my hon. friend from Moncton will be able to Speak of conditions in his district with more knowledge than I. I am simply voicing the complaints which are made in the portion of the province from which I come, and pointing o-ut that the universal sentiment of the people is that there is no excuse for the want of accommodation, no excuse for the lack of regard to the comfort and convenience of the travelling public, and no excuse for the many disastrous wrecks that have occurred during the past year. I do not blame the minister for that, except in this sense; he ought to give personal attention to these matters. That is what a minister is for, it seems to me, to give personal attention to the management of the great interests which are confided to his care. I do not know whether the Minister of Railways gives these matters his personal attention or not. If he does, and still allows these things to go on, he is greatly to blame, and if he does not, he is to blame for leaving the management so entirely in the hands of the General Manager of the Intercolonial. I am going to support this motion of my 'hon. friend from

Rimouski (Mr. Boulay) because the spirit of it is good, though I would alter two or three words if I had the amending of it. But perhaps the minister will agree to an amendment himself, which will meet with the views of the House. This is a resolution which ought to be passed. The people of this country have a right to expect the Intercolonial to be managed just as any great railway company is managing its Tailway. It should be managed in such a way as to secure loyalty and the best possible service from its employees, and to prevent the gross injustice which has been done to the employees of this great railroad system in the past few years under the management of the present Minister of Railways and the gentleman whom he brought in from outside to occupy the responsible position of General Manager.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

John Stanfield

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHN STANFIELD (Colchester):

My name has been 'before the public more or less during the last few months in connection with this matter, and I wish to correct certain statements that have appeared in the newspapers of the country. I am sorry to say that the papers that are supposed to be friendly to me have magnified the incident in which my name was mentioned, and have made statements that were inqorrect. A statement was sent out to the press from this House last Thursday or Friday night in connection with what the Minister of Railways had said in regard to some remarks made by my brother in the local House, and, according to this report, the Minister of Railways said that he did not know and did not care. I have consulted Hansard, and have spoken to the members who were sitting next to the minister when he was speaking, and I find that this newspaper report is absolutely false.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Stand by the minister.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

John Stanfield

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANFIELD:

I will stand by what is fair and square, but will oppose him or any one else when I think it is right to do so. What I wish to say is this: Some hon. members on this side of the House, as well as on the other, were under the impression that I was trying to dictate to the Minister of Railways and the General Manager of Government Railways that a certain man should be promoted to a vacancy on the Intercolonial. I do not think that I have any right to dictate; I might suggest whom they might promote. But I say that we have as good men in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as can be obtained anywhere else; they have proved themselves to be so.

All I need do is to point to Mr. McDougall, General Manager oi the Dominion Coal Company, who has been promoted step by step from boy to general manager, and has made good. In his speech yesterday, the junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) referred to a constituency in Nova Scotia as to which he said the people did not know whether it was represented in this Parliament or not. If he was alluding to the county of Colchester, I can tell him that the people of that county are well satisfied with the way they are being represented, and they do know that they are being represented here at the present moment. I am not saying this boastfully; I am simply stating what I know to be a fact.

Before taking my seat I should like to correct the statement of the hon member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley), who said that this passenger agent was discharged. He was not discharged, but superannuated, and Mr. Malanson, Assistant Passenger Agent, was appointed in his place and has made good. I will say this for Mr. Hayes of the Intercolonial Bailway: as far as I know,

he has not brought in a single man from another road to fill a vacancy on the Intercolonial, tout has promoted men from the ranks, and I am sure that if Mr Guteliue will follow the same policy in his management of the road, and will promote the men we have in New Brunswick and Novia Scotia, a better spirit will prevail amongst the employees of the road.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Were not the Chief

Engineer and the General Traffic Manager tooth brought in from outside?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

John Stanfield

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANFIELD:

Yes. I would support this motion if after the word "railway" were inserted the words "when qualified."

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. F. B. CAEVELL (Carleton, N.B.):

I do not know whether to congratulate the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Stanfield) or the Minister of Bail-ways on the rapprochement that has taken place between them. They are both gentlemen for whom hon. members on this side of the House have a very high regard. I know I am speaking the sentiments of my colleagues around me when I say we are delighted to see that the hatchet has been buried, and that they are now able to live together in peace and harmony, and the [DOT]Chief Whip of the Conservative party resuming the place he has filled so worthily for the past five years. But I am at a loss to know exactly where he stands. His conclusions are all right, however. He could

vote for this motion provided a reasonable amendment were added, and I hope he will vote for it. But I must say I am rather disappointed in the hon member for Colchester, that he takes so much back water as he does. I thought he would make a [DOT]stronger fight.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

He is .somewhat subdued.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CAEVELL:

He is getting along

fairly well, but I must say he is not measuring up to the standard he at first set for himself, he is not fulfilling the expectations formed of him by the people generally. He made a start some months ago, and was determined to show up the mismanagement of the Intercolonial. Well, it was a good start anyway.

If it is necessary to go to Ontario, or to the West, or to the United States, to find a man to act as superintendent or head of a department of the Intercolonial, the conclusion seems inevitable that there is not much brains left among the employees of the Intercolonial. But there is hardly a railway in Canada that has not in its employ men who were trained on the Intercolonial and who are making good. Go to the United States, go to Western Canada, and you will find former Intercolonial men engaged in all departments of the great railways, and making good everywhere.

The great trouble with the Intercolonial is that it is being run on no principle whatever. The Minister of Bailways, I think, would like to run it on something like business principles. He hands over the direction of affairs to his General Manager, giving that gentleman the widest powers which he exercises like-well, I will not say what I was gudng to say, but, let us say, as a man from Berlin would exercise them. He has no regard for the feelings of anybody, but simply says: I am the

Almighty so far as the Intercolonial is concerned, and I will do as I have a mind to so long as the minister will stand behind me. And he does things in that way, until it comes to the ordinary work of the railway, and then the politician steps in. And that is what the hon. member for Bimouski (Mr. Boulay) is finding fault with. The whole thing is honeycombed with politics. A man cannot get a position on the Intercolonial-except the big men whom Mr. Gutelius employs-otherwise than by going through the Conservative patronage committee. I informed the Minister of Bail-ways privately yesterday of a case to which I will not refer now at length, the case of

a man who could not even get a siding except through the patronage committee. Afterwards, he got his siding and paid for it, but as the Tory patronage committee did not want it, in three weeks it was taken up, and now he has to have the produce in which he deals teamed a quarter of a mile to and from his warehouse. This aiding was absolutely taken up because the politicians of that part cf the province did not want it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Worse than that they are

competitors in business.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARYELL:

Mr. CHARLES A. GAUVREAU (Temis-couta) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I am

not very much in sympathy with the hon. member for Rimouski (Mr. Beulay); but I must say that I give my hearty support to his resolution as drafted. Of course I am aware that his intention in bringing the matter before the House is to create an opportunity of calling attention to the treatment meted out to him by his political associates. The motion may be double-edged, but as the intention is to help the men on the Intercolonial, my hon. friend is entitled to support from this side of the House. When I hear such criticisms levelled at the management of the Government railway, I wish to recall to the hon. member that before 1911 there was a good board of management, to which the Liberal Government had appointed a French-Can-adian, Mr. Caron, from whom his compatriots could expect fair treatment. The friends of the hon. gentleman from Ri-mouski were barely secure on the Treasury benches, when he himself, who had a vengeance to wreak, as well as the ' hon. member for Mslet (Dr. Paquet) for well-known motives, were clamouring for the abolition of the Board, knowing full-well that the disappearance of the Board meant the dismissal of Mr. Caron. A General Manager was then appointed; his name sounds a good deal like that of a "Boche" and his methods have something of the Prussian about them. At any rate, the grievances exist, the employees on the Intercolonial are treated unfairly; we are here to protect them, and we must take every means to obtain redress.

The member for Rimouski, in an effort to prove that his party was not solely responsible for the present situation, states that the Liberals had imported men who had never been employed on the Intercolonial. When called upon to give specific instances, he mentioned a certain Mr. Russell. I remember his appointment. Ho has been made superintendent as a kind of experiment, but complaints were made all along the line, and justly so, so that after ten months Russell was dismissed.

I wish to observe en passant, that the Minister of Railways may be doing his best, but even taking into account his noted stoicism, I fail to see why he leaves the absolute management of the most valuable property of the country in the hands of Mr. Gutelius. In his office the minister is always courteous and even amiable, and ready, I believe, to do his best by French-Canadians. That is why I fail to under-

stand why Mr. Gutelius is allowed the upper hand. The mere fact that there is general dissatisfaction would justify the Minister of Railways, were he like some politicians I know, in depriving Mr. Gutelius of a position which he exploits, not only to the detriment of the road and the men, but even against the friends of the Government. Thus, not long ago, at the time of the New Brunswick elections, which caused much rejoicing in the Liberal camp, I read in a newspaper published in that province the reply of a Conservative leader, who was asked to what he attributed the defeat of his parry: "If you wish said he, to explain the defeat of the Government of New Brunswick, look at Mr. Gutelius." Of course, the hon. member for Rimouski finds little satisfaction in such facts, and if I mention them it is to obtain for the men on the Intercolonial some measure of freedom-not by shooting holes in the British flag-but the freedom of men who have a right to be treated fairly. That is the case to such an extent, that formerly the trades unions of the Intercolonial were a kind of shelter for the rail-waymen. If a man were in trouble, if he were destitute or had been dismissed for or without cause, he found among the members of the trades unions help and protection. Now men who are dismissed, sometimes through mere personal spite, appeal in vain to his fellow members of the union for redress: the officers of the union are in fear of the General Manager.

Quite possibly the minister who has been ill and had to travel extensively for his health is not aware of what is going on on the Intercolonial. I must bear witness to his kindness because when I appealed to him in the name of humanity on behalf of employees in destitute circumstances, I was always well received. For that only, I should forgive him many of his political sins in the past.

If things are going far from smoothly on the Intercolonial .it is because the minister places too much confidence in Mr. Gutelius and will not be undeceived. The day his eyes are opened, he will get rid of that gentleman and appoint another manager at a smaller salary; or he will take in his own hands the management of the road and I think the province of Quebec and the whole country will feel there has been an improvement.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Rimouski will rally to his motion the unanimous support of the House. He simply requests after all that the manage-

ment of the railway be not left entirely under the control of Mr. Gutelius. Mr. Speaker, when a minister has charge of the most valuable property of the Government and knows the large number of men employed in connection with it, should not the mere fact that a general discontent exists, that the employees are provoked to the point of rising a3 one man to vote against the Government, make him realize the extent of the grievance and prompt him to eradicate it. And should he find that Mr. Gutelius is at the bottom of the general unrest, ought he not to order his dismissal? There is no lack of men In the Maritime Provinces, in Quebec or elsewhere who could be appointed General Manager.

The hon. member for Rimouski must be congratulated; his resolution is timely and will have good results. If he could suggest a scheme to operate the road, that would best fit conditions like those that prevailed last winter, he would deserve the thanks of this House and of his electors. Never has a railway been so badly managed as was the Intercolonial last winter. In fact accidents were far too frequent, and so much has their number increased that one does not feel safe when he travels on that road. Mr. Speaker, if this resolution has no other effect than to bring the Minister of Railways to realize that he must enquire for himself and dispense with the services of Mr. Gutelius, he will have earned the gratitude not only of his electors but of the whole province of Quebec.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. D. REID:

Mr. Speaker, I see

no reason for not accepting the resolution because, so far as I know, the policy enunciated in it has been carried out, so far as it could be, on the Government railway system. The hon, member for .Carle-ton (Mr. Carvell) said a few minutes ago that they had as good men in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, with as much brains as in any other part of the Dominion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
Permalink

April 25, 1917