March 11, 1921

CON
L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Now, Sir, I bring to your attention the fact that this was on the 27th of January. I was surprised that the appointment had been made at that time. It has not yet been made public, or not until very recently at all events. I have nothing to say against Mr. Samson. He is a nice gentleman, well qualified, and a good Conservative. The only point of inferiority he would have as compared with the gentleman I recommended is that according to the new law of one man, one vote, he is not an elector of Quebec East.

I think Mr. Simard should have been appointed as he is an elector of the division.

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UNION

Avard Longley Davidson

Unionist

Mr. DAVIDSON:

May I ask what was the politics of the gentleman whom my hon. friend recommended?

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

He is a Liberal, by all means. There are so many Liberals in that electoral district that it would have been difficult for the right hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce to select anybody else, so he had to go outside the division to get a man. I say, Sir, this is patronage with a vengeance, and it is no use for the Government to pretend that political patronage has been abolished when such cases as this occur.

But it is not only as regards the census commissioners that political patronage is exercised; it is exercised in connection with the most prominent positions under the Crown in Canada. Take the case of judges. How many advocates belonging to the Liberal party have been appointed during the two past years?-I mean so far as my own province is concerned. Let me say, at once, I have nothing to say against the appointments to the Bench that have been made in the province of Quebec, not even against those that have been made recently. I have not one word of criticism to offer so far as those gentlemen are concerned. But when you are aware of the fact that in the province of Quebec there are many more Liberals than there are Conservatives-and this is true not only as regards the Bar but in other professions and walks in life-is it any wonder that my right hon. friend the Minister of Justine (Mr. Doherty), cannot see his way clear to offer a judical position to any member of the Bar in that province who happens to be a Liberal? Do not be mistaken. I am not complaining because I have not been offered a position myself; I would not accept one if it were offered me. But, Mr. REVISED EDITION

Speaker, why pretend that there is no more patronage in the public service of Canada in the face of such facts? And there are other positions of prominence too in which patronage is evident. This Government has a reputation for the number of commissions it has created,-commissions of a very important character. How many Liberals-and I speak particularly in regard to the province with which I am best acquainted-have been appointed on these commissions? Well, Sir, when it was necessary to appoint a man jirom Quebec they always resorted to this very estimable gentleman, Sir Hormidas Laporte, who has been a prominent commissioner of the Government from the province of Quebec on all the boards which they have created, because he was a member of the Conservative party, and a supporter of the Government. Indeed, Sir, they have even tried to induce him to join the Government; but as this is a matter on which the electorates have something to say, they have not so far succeeded. Well, I say that patronage must be abolished; it ought to be abolished; and we should have honesty, frankness, and sincerity in regard to this as in regard to any other question. It is only camouflage to say that patronage does not exist in regard to many positions; and instead of having patronage, virtually if not nominally, as my hon. friend from Victoria (Sir Sam Hughes) suggests, we should be sincere about the matter and really abolish patronage, giving to the best qualified men those positions that are vacant. And the Government should help the Civil Service Commission in that respect.

Right Hon. Sir GEORGE E. FOSTER (Minister of Trade and Commerce) : This subject, which has been debated this afternoon, mostly on general principles, will no doubt come before the House in its details before this session is very many weeks older. Therefore, I am not going to go extensively into the matter now. But I wish to say a word or two in respect to what has been said by speakers that have already addressed the Chamber. In the first place, with reference to my old friend and colleague who moved the motion (Sir Sam Hughes), I do not need to say more than that, in common with all my fellow-members, I was glad to see the vigour which he still maintains, though under great disabilities; and we do not, I think, fail to keep in our memories to-day, under certain circumstances not so favourable to him as formerly in the matter of health, the greater vigour and energy which for many

years he displayed in this Parliament when his health gave him an opportunity to do so. Though I do not agree with the tendency of his argument, nor the conclusion to which it would lead one, I accord him, as I do all my fellow-members, the perfect privilege of expressing his ideas fearlessly and frankly in the House. I shall do the same on this occasion, and perhaps on others, with reference to the subject which is now before us, for I consider it a very important one.

In the first place, I desire to correct a wrong impression which is prevalent throughout the Civil Service, throughout the city of Ottawa and, I think, probably in this Chamber, as to the work which has been performed by the Civil Service Commission, by the first employee of the Civil Service Commission, Arthur Young and Company, and by the employees, of the sub-committee of the Privy Council, Grif-fenhagen and Associates. First of all, let me ask hon. members, who are going to form their opinion with reference to the results of the work, that they take two things into consideration: First, the immensity of the work which was to be done; and, secondly, the perturbed and untoward circumstances under which this work was begun and has been carried on up to the present time by the Civil Service Commission and by their employees. I do not need to go into detail with reference to this. We all know that the years through which we have lived since 1913 have been troubled years in every respect, no less troubled in any respect than as regards the work of the Civil Service, in the way of actual performance of duty and also in connection with the reorganization and improvement of the service. Let me also ask, is it generically a thing upon which we must decide merit, that a man's name is Wolfe and not Jones? Is it the essence of a proposition that a man's name should not be GrifFenhagen but might very well be Brown? We may have our likes as to names, but at the same time, in a matter of service performed, is it the name or is it the service that counts? It is quality and character; there can be no two opinions about that. Now, my hon. friend opposite made a very strong assertion,-he is apt to make strong assertions; he sometimes makes very strong assertions without good ground. His assertion in this case amounted to this: That a foreigner by the name of Wolfe stole into the sheepfold in Ottawa, took hold of a venerable member of the Civil Service, chucked him out of the service neck and crop, and put in his place-a man with German ante-

cedents, it not a German name. What foundation has my hon. friend for making an assertion of that kind? He has not any.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I will give proof to

the right hon. gentleman.

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

In the first

place Arthur Young and Company had nothing to do with putting civil servants out of office, or putting people into office as civil servants; not one single iota of influence or right of action or power had they to exercise in that respect. Arthur Young and Company-regardless of whether it was a good thing to take that company or another-were employed by the Civil Service Commission to do what? To classify the positions in the Civil Service. The Civil Service Commission themselves made the placements and the re-placements, the retirements and the appointments, and Arthur Young and Company had nothing, good, bad or indifferent to do in connection therewith. The classification that they did was the classification of positions-ascertaining the qualifications for, and the scope of work of certain positions-and their experience enabled them to give valuable advice in that respect. They were asked to do it, paid to do it, they did it, and the positions were classified, in the main, according to their recommendations, modified by conferences between them and the Civil Service Commission. Once the positions were classified it became the duty, the sole duty, of the Civil Service Commission, by whatever tests they might use, to fill positions and to make retirements.

Now, Sir, if there is one piece of work that was ever performed on this Hill to the credit of the commission, and to the credit of the Government which helped or enabled to help it to be performed, it is the re-organization of the Bureau of Printing and Stationery. There will be a report placed before this House in a short time which will give the history of that re-organization. Let me say two or three words with reference thereto. An investigation was ordered by the Government of Canada and several years ago a committee of three, if I remember aright, was turned into that Printing Bureau and asked to make a report. The committee made a report and the members of the House know what that report was. On the groundwork of that report the Civil Service Commission engaged Arthur Young and Company not only to carry out the classification work but to organize that department-

51 i

which meant what? Which meant to find out, in the first place what were the physical relations in the department not simply of the units of one branch of the service, but of the units of all the branches of the service. For instance they found on three, four or five flats, one unit each segregated on its flat and trying to carry on its work by communications with the other units. It was obvious that if you could get all the parts of a unit together that had a common basis of work, if you could get them close together and acting in unison you would do the work much more economically, much more quickly, and much more effectively, than if you had one unit in one building and another unit in another building elsewhere in the city. That simply goes to show the form of work that organization takes. .

Now the company went to work. It passed through the Bureau, it performed its duties, and the organization was completed by the Civil Service Commission who placed every officer that is under it and displaced every civil servant that went out from it, not the organizing company itself. The results are seen. What are they? Four hundred-odd employees are not now at work there who were employed before that organization. Are we honest in our desire for economy? Is it right to get up here and say that this Hill is packed with civil servants, and then to turn round and rend the organization that has carried out the suggestion that you made? Four hundred-odd employees less are now at work in the Printing Bureau than were employed before the organization was carried out. What else must be added? From $500,000 to $600,000 a year is saved in salaries. You might save salaries and you might not get the work done; but the other point is this- that more work, better work, more congenial and more uniform, and characterized by an esprit de corps, is now done in the Printing Bureau than ever before. There you have the results. The same committee, minus one man who has since died, that made the initial investigation and pointed out the need for re-organization in the Bureau, the other day made a thorough investigation of the re-organized Bureau. Its report will be presented to the House, and it carries out absolutely just what I have stated in two or three sentences. You cannot judge a re-organization until it is completed and until it has had just a little time to work on the

completed new basis. In this case it is seven or eight months since the re-organization went into full effect, and it has consequently settled down into the groove of actual and efficient work. That is the condition with reference to the Printing Bureau. What happened next? The Government saw how that work was done, they kept track of it every week it was going on; and when they saw not only that a great saving was effected, hut that better work was performed with amelioration of the former conditions-not only as regards hand work and machine work but with respect to the work generally and with the resultant esprit de corps that comes from the operation of a body united and congenial-when the Government saw that they said: There is still more work to be done on this Hill. The suggestion has been made " Just leave it with the deputies and it will be done." We have had deputies on this Hill ever since 1867. The deputies have had powers, large powers, ever since. Deputies have sat from generation to generation in these very places that I have been speaking of; they have sat in the branches we are now organizing; and yet these things have gone on and organization has not taken place. There are great difficulties in a minister re-organizing a large department that he has the headship of. He has not the time to do it, he has not the knowledge necessary to do it, he cannot do it. A deputy head is almost in the same position, although he has an opportunity of being very much better acquainted with all the units in his department and the men in those units, than the minister has. But there are the facts of the case. In some way or other you have to get a breath of new inspiration from outside; you have to get a little bit of the light of modern business introduced innto a department; you have to get some new enter-prize and some new initiative; to call the attention of a department to new business methods as they are so rapidly developing in the world of business to-day. The Government thought its duty was to extend re-organization. It immediately cast about to determine as to whom it should put in charge of that re-organization, and it engaged most of the men who had been in the employ of the Arthur Young Company, and who had worked in the former reorganization and classification, these men having taken over the mechanical organization work of Arthur Young and Com-

pany and transformed themselves into another company-which, by the way, is incorporated in Canada and has membership in Canada. Looking over the field, it came to the conclusion that these were the best men to undertake the reorganization of some of the departments on this Hill. "Why? They had become familiarized with the circumstances and conditions of the service, in the reorganization of the Printing Bureau, and. if you brought in a strange body of engineers they would have to acquire all this knowledge that these men already had. We thought that that was a qualification which we should take advantage of, and we did. We made a contract with Griffenhagen and As-

5 p.m. sociates under which they were to give us certain engineering work for a certain amount of pay. We appointed a sub-committee of the Privy Council to have charge of the contract and to work out with these men and with the officers of the departments, in a spirit of co-operation and amity, improvements in the other departments.

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L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

Will my right hon.

friend allow me to ask a question?

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CON
L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

Were Griffenhagen and

Associates given any greater or different authority with regard to the replacing or displacing of officials than that which the Arthur Young Company had?

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

I will come to that. So we made the contract, and the sub-committee of Council has been working that matter out with those men. I have had the misfortune-or good fortune, I am not saying which-of being the chairman of that sub-committee, and I know the work which it has entailed and the amount of care which that sub-committee has given to the work. The same reorganization is being put into effect in two of the departments on the Hill, the Post Office Department and the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue, and in the course of a little while, longer or shorter, a perfected reorganization will be had in both those departments, as it has been had in the Department of Public Printing and Stationery.

What is the modus operandi? These gentlemen make their observations to find out the defects-where services are being duplicated, where unnecessary services are being performed; where modern methods of printing and machine work may take the place

of hand labour; and when they have completed their observations they make their reports and their recommendations as to what is to be done to overcome those weaknesses and effect improvements. The subcommittee of Council, with what time and ability it has, goes carefully over those reports. Then those men and the officers of the departments get together and with the sub-committee come to points of agreement.

I may say that in all the improvements which are being made in the two departments which are now under reorganization there has scarcely been a point upon which in the end Griffenhagen and Associates with their staff and with the deputy heads and other officers of the departments which are being reorganized have not come to a point of agreement, and the work has been carried on in co-operation. That does away with so much that has been said about sending a lot of men into a department, and without any co-operation with or knowledge of or implemented work from the department itself, letting them go hither and thither to do as they choose in these matters.

Now to answer my hon. friend's question. Griffenhagen and Associates to-day have no more power than Arthur Young and Company had before. When the sub-committee have considered Griffenhagen and Associates' reports, and have authorized the work to be taken in hand, then the officials of Griffenhagen and Associates and the officials of the department work together to carry it out.

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L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

My right hon. friend

uses the word "to-day." I do not know whether he wishes to limit Griffenhagen and Associates' authority as to time. If so, I should like to ask what authority they had before to-day?

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

My hon. friend must not have the least suspicion that I am trying to dodge the question.

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L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

I have not.

SIR GEORGE FOSTER: I am going to give him a flat, square answer, I am giving the methods so as to see how the final results were reached. The office work of Griffenhagen and Associates is simply to find out and recommend as to methods of work; and when their recommendation is agreed to by the sub-committee then Griffenhagen and Associates' duty is just to find out what services can be amalgamated, what can be done away with and what can be put in as an improvement in their place. And Griffenhagen and Associates never took Sidney Smith by the coat-collar and threw him out of the department any more than they could take Mr. Fripp by the coat collar and throw him out of this House.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

It was not their business, and they had nothing to do with it. If any changes are made they will be made by the Civil Service Commission, which alone can authorize retirements, transfers, appointments and promotions. Now, I hope I have answered that question fairly.

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L LIB

Edmond Proulx

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

Will the right hon. gentleman permit me a question?

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CON
L LIB

Edmond Proulx

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

Why was Mr. Smith put out of the department?

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

I do not know that he has been put out. I do not know who will go out and who will not; that is for the Civil Service Commission. Neither the minister, nor the sub-committee, nor Griffenhagen and Associates have anything to say about that until the Civil Service Commission send in their report to the Council as to what shall be done in the way of retirements, appointments or otherwise. I am not going to pursue that question any further except to say that I am, and always have been, a protagonist of doing away with patronage, and my record in that respect is well known to this House. From the time I became a member I imbibed that idea, and I have always kept it and tried to forward it all that I possibly could.

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UNI L

March 11, 1921