May 12, 1919

* REPORTS AND PAPERS.


Return of all correspondence, telegrams and other documents in connection with the application of the Shell Transport and Trading Company for the grant of certain oil lands.-Hon. Mr. Meighen. Report of Overseas Military Forces of Canada for the year 1918.-Sir Edward Kemp.


DOMINION WATER-POWERS.


Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Minister of the Interior) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 94, respecting Dominion Water-powers. He said: The purpose of this Bill is to make a statutory foundation for the administration of Canadian water-powers in so far as those, water-powers are the assets of the Dominion, and for co-operation with the provinces in the administration of water-powers that belong to them. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


SETTLEMENT OF RETURNED SOLDIERS UPON THE LAND.


Hon. Mr. MEIGHEN moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 95, to assist returned soldiers in settling upon the land. He said: This proposed legislation, as its name implies, is designed to assist returned soldiers in becoming settlers on land in Canada. In 1917 the Dominion Parliament passed the Soldiers' Settlement Act of that year which had the same general object in view, but the scope of whose operations was confined to lands owned by the Dominion. That is to say, the Bill did not make provision for the assistance of land settlement by soldiers, save to the extent that it provided an additional quarter-section for



each soldier, as a soldier's grant over and above his homestead rights, and to the -further extent that it enabled assistance to "be given to soldiers owning land by way *of a loan upon those lands on the ordinary loan basis. The main purpose of the present legislation, in so far as it is additional to and beyond the Bill of 1917, is to provide a means of acquiring lands now held privately or by corporations, or indeed by governments, for the purpose of disposing of those lands to returned soldiers. A foundation for the work we are now doing under the Soldiers' Settlement Board was first laid on the 11th February last by an Order in Council which in its provisions is similar to the corresponding provisions of the Bill now introduced. However, beyond the powers which, were taken by *the Order in Council referred to, this Bill provides a system and machinery whereby lands may be acquired other than by agreement or purchase, viz: compulsorily and by expropriation. These ex-propriatory clauses contain means whereby, under a settlement area scheme, the lands that are being retarded from cultivation are set aside as settlement areas, and are thereby made subject to the compulsory provisions of the Bill. I have gone far enough to show that the measure i$ most comprehensive, and indeed progressive, in its character. It is, I think, the most extended and progressive federal land settlement scheme that has yet been brought to my attention. It is a Bill of considerable length and will demand much of the attention of Parliament. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time. .


SS. AQUITANIA'S PORT.


On the Orders of the Day:


L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LUOIEN CANNON (Dorchester):

I

desire to call the attention of the Government, and of the Minister of Marine in particular, to a piece of news which appeared in the press last week to the effect that the SS. Aquitania would land troops in Halifax, but would not go up the St. Lawrence river as far as Quebec on account of the very heavy marine insurance rates. I would like to know if the Government intend taking any measures to remedy such a condition of things?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Hon. C. C. BALLANTYNE (Minister of Marine):

I have not seen anything in the press of what the hon. member has just referred to, nor has the matter been brought to my attention. I will be very glad to look into it, and let my hon. friend know

as soon as possible. I am under the impression that the Aquitania draws too much water to go to Quebec, but I am not certain of that until I have made inquiry.

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RE-OLA,SSIFIOATION OF CIVIL SERVICE.


On the Orders of the Day:


UNION

Charles Sheard

Unionist

Mr. CHARLES SHEARD (Toronto South) :

Is the Government in a position to state definitely to the House when the report of the 'Civil Service Commission on the subject on the re-classification of the service will be laid upon the Table?

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UNION

Alexander Kenneth Maclean (Minister Without Portfolio)

Unionist

Hon. A. K. MACLEAN:

I am glad the

hon. gentleman has asked the question, as I intended to make a very brief statement upon the matter, il received this morning a telegram from the Secretary of the Postal Letter Carriers' Association, Mr. A. Mc-Mordie, of Toronto. I shall read that telegram and my reply thereto, which I think is quite comprehensive and fully covers the ground.

I might say that rumours have lately appeared in the press to the effect that a promise was given that the re-classification would be laid upon the table of the House, or introduced into Parliament, about the first of May. That is probably true; I think I made a statement myself to that effect. When I made that statement I was firmly of the opinion that the work of the Civil Service Commission would have been so far advanced that the classification report would be in the hands of Parliament by this time. However, that work up to the present moment was not fully completed, and it was therefore an utter impossibility for the Government to present the classification report to Parliament. Other statements have appeared in the press during the week to the effect that the classification would not be presented to Parliament during the present session of Parliament, but that it would be taken up at an adjourned session in the coming autumn, or at another session. This rumour, of course, is not correct; it is proposed that the classification shall be proceeded with during the present session. The telegram from Mr. McMordie to which I referred a moment ago reads as follows:

Much dissatisfaction amongst letter carriers, that the expectations of the Government as to Civil Service Commission report not materializing during the first week in May as promised. It is important that you give us definite statement now as to when this report will he submitted to the House of Commons.

To which I replied on May 12, as follows :

Your telegram eleventh received to-day. The work of classification by the Civil Service Commission is proceeding as rapidly as is humanly possible and nothing is being neglected to expedite this work. Classification work has taken a long time but it involved a stupendous task. The actual work is how about completed and a substantial proportion of schedules is printed. The printing is in two languages which involves also a translation but I think the printing will be wholly completed within fourteen days. On completion of printing a Bill to enact the classification will promptly be introduced into Parliament and advanced with all possible speed. I beg to assure your association that the work has been carried out with great earnestness since August last and it was not possible by any means to have had the work further advanced than it is although I was hopeful of its completion before this but I am satisfied no one is to blame for any delay. I hope your association will realize the Importance and comprehensiveness of the task and await the completion of the work which is now so nearly in sight.

I would like to say further, Mr. Speaker, that at the present moment the schedules are completed in the sense that all the preliminary work is done, and all that remains to be done prior to the introduction of the measure which will enact the classification, is the translation of the schedules and the printing. As a matter of fact, a very substantial proportion of the English translation is in print now, and also a very substantial proportion of the French translation is completed; and I am hopeful, as I have already stated, that within two weeks from to-day I shall be able to introduce a Bill providing for some amendments to the Civil Service Act and for the validation of the schedules.

Now, I wish to point out to the House- because this is a subject oF recent comment in the press and in some sections of the Civil Service-that the classification of the Inside and Outside Services is in all respects a stupendous task. It is the most comprehensive work of its character ever attempted by any country, and when it is finished it may well be regarded as the greatest accomplishment in 'this direction 'by any country.

The personnel of our Civil Service amounts to at least 50,000, and that is without taking into consideration the army and navy, our railway employees, the judiciary and some other branches of the public service. The classification work involved the making of 1,600 schedules, in the printing each page will take on the average about two and one half schedules, and when wholly printed it will mean a publication of six or seven hundred pages, which is quite a substantial volume. I wish also

to point out that a limited staff only could be employed in this work. I think it will be quite obvious that this work could not have been assigned to an unlimited number of men without substantial variations in principle being incorporated in the work, which would be very undesirable in settling the classification.

By way of comparison I might point out that some time ago the city of New York . made a classification of its Civil Service. The number of its employees was 60,000, slightly more than that of the Government of Canada, but I would imagine the work would be less complicated than our own. It took four years to complete that work, and it cost the city a great deal of money. As a further comparison I might mention the fact that a short time ago the state of New York made a classification of its Civil Service, which comprises 17,000 persons, and that took over two years. The Civil Service Commission of Canada have been employed since the first of August last in carrying out the directions given by Parliament in the Civil Service Act of last year, and I am sure every possible effort has been made and is being made to complete the work at an early date, and present it to Parliament for its consideration and, I hope, approval. With some slight knowledge of the vast deal of work which the commission has had to perform in connection with the classification I can confidently say that no complaint can fairly be made by the public or by any section of the Civil Service in regard to the time taken by the commission. However, as I stated a moment ago, I do expect that within two weeks I shall be able to present the report upon the classification of the Civil Service to Parliament and ask for approval of the same.

Before I sit down let me further point this out: When the classification with the schedules of salaries is approved by Parliament it will relate back to the beginning of the fiscal year; and if it happens that any members of the service are entitled under that classification to promotion in rank or in salary, the same will date back to the 1st of April last, and in that way no substantial wrong can be done to the personnel of- the Civil Service in the monetary sense by reason of an unexpected delay of a few weeks in the completion of the work.

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MILITARY SERVICE.


On the Orders of the Day:


L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Mr. Speaker, I notice that Bill No. 91, respecting the disqualifica-

tion of military defaulters, is marked on the Orders of the Day as printed in English and French, but on sending out for the Bill I find it is not available. I wish to bring to the notice of the Acting Minister of Justice that it is desirable to have the Bill distributed as early as possible.

There is another matter I wish to draw the minister's attention to. I understand that the Military Service Act has been amended to some extent by Orders in Council. Those orders may be available to hon. members, but at all events I have not got any of them, and in considering this Bill it would be well to have the amendments so made printed and distributed for the use of members.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There is no desire to go on with the Bill in question until hon. members have an ample opportunity to study it. I will see that it is printed and distributed before we go on. Furthermore, the Orders in Council to which the hon. member refers are already bound with the Military Service Act, and I do not think there will be any difficulty in having them, as bound, distributed.

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QUEBEC OFFICER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLEMENT.

May 12, 1919