March 11, 1921

UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I presume I am responsible since, of course, I officially made the nomination of the gentleman who was appointed to the vacancy which otherwise the gentleman alluded to might have filled. Let me assure the hon. gentleman, that if he was informed that in the decision come to the fact that the gentleman to whom he refers was the partner of a Liberal member of the profession had anything to do with the decision arrived at at that time, he was entirely misinformed.

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

As far as my right hon. friend (Mr. Doherty) is concerned, let me say that when he was out of the Chamber I stated that I wished to congratulate him upon the appointments he has made to the Bench in the province of Quebec, in most cases, since he has been Minister of Justice.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the last instance to be brought to your attention as to the exercise of patronage, not only in the province of Quebec but throughout the Dominion, is that of the appointment of census commissioners. I have before me the list of the census commissioners appointed in the several constituencies in the province of

Quebec. We may look this list over once, twice and three times, and nowhere will be found the name of one gentleman who might have been, or who might be, directly or indirectly connected with the Liberal party in any way whatsoever.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Bleu.

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

In our city of Quebec

every name on this list is the name of a true Bleu. With respect to the gentleman appointed in my constituency I do not wish to offer any criticism, he is an honest, respectable man and I am quite sure will perform his duties with satisfaction to the public. But the point is this: Why should the Minister of Trade and Commerce, when addressing the House in eloquent terms as he did this afternoon state the enormous sums of money which have been spent all over this country to bring about Civil * Service reform and the abolition of patronage, and yet when the right hon. gentleman himself as a minister, has to make appointments in Canada, as a truly reactionary Tory he goes back to the system that existed forty years ago and to every post appoints one of his own friends? Let the right hon. gentleman do so if he wishes, but if he is a supporter and partisan of patronage in civil appointments let him get up here and say so. Mr. Speaker, I go further. The list to which I refer-not drawn up by my right hon. friend I know, but by the two ministers representing our province, the Minister of Marine (Mr. Ballantyne) and the Postmaster General-shows that in every constituency these two gentlemen have chosen former Tory members or former Tory candidates. It is their right to do so, but let them have the courage to get up in the House and admit the fact, and let this Government cease squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars on so-called Civil Service reform and cease pretending to the people of this country that they are trying to abolish patronage. On this question, as the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) has said, let us be honest and let us cease to be hypocrites. This is the stand taken by hon. gentlemen on this side and I think it is the stand supported by the majority of hon. gentlemen opposite. In 1911 there was promulgated something which has since been forgotten, I refer to the Halifax platform. That platform contained a plank declaring that patronage should be abolished. In 1917 this Government went to the country and one of the main planks in its platform was a similar

declaration. I say, Mr. Speaker, that notwithstanding all the promises and declarations made by the Tory party in Canada, notwithstanding the enormous sums of money expended by this Government to reform the Civil Service, notwithstanding the scandal of Griffenhagen and other American experts imported into Canada to do things that Canadian experts could have done and done much better-notwithstanding all this I say that the present Government stands to-day in favour of patronage. The Government shows it in all its acts and appointments. The money that has been spent is money uselessly spent, and the promises made will never be kept by the present administration.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac) :

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) followed his customary practice of general fault finding, but I must say he did not indulge himself to his usual extent in those violent adjectives and political pyrotechnics with which he is prone to decorate his speeches in this House. The hon. gentleman was good enough to commend the right hon. Minister of Justice . (Mr. Doherty) for certain appointments to the bench in the province of Quebec. I am rather inclined to think that inasmuch as the hon. gentleman did not commend the minister for all the appointments made, the right hon. gentleman is perhaps to be congratulated more on the appointments which did not meet the approval of the hon. member for Dorchester than on those which did.

The hon. gentleman in the course of his remarks endorsed the word "hypocrisy" which was used by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) and also repeated the advice of that hon. gentleman to the effect that henceforth we should be honest-politically honest. Well, it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that the thought comes rather late from these hon. gentlemen, especially from the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's. However, the aspiration is a worthy one, and I trust that the hon. member will be spared for very many years to demonstrate his sincerity and to retrieve some of his past in this regard.

The hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's referred to the Halifax programme and to a plank therein relating to patronage, and charged that this Government was guilty of hypocrisy or insincerity in not redeeming that plank. I do not know any hon. gentleman in this House who is running a greater risk than the hon. member if we are to define political insincerity as he defines it. A Liberal platform was issued in 1893, and if non-fulfilment of that platform for fifteen years warrants any person in charging with political insincerity those who failed to fulfil it, then I am afraid my hon. friend will occupy a very unfortunate position. And more recently we have the Liberal platform of 1919, which I think he indicated not so very long ago that he could not follow out in its entirety. But last year the hon. gentleman stated in this House:

I think myself that we find that we are all prone in framing platforms to put things perhaps a little more strongly than is wise, and we all And when we come to the responsibility of office that we may have to modify our views.

Well, the hon. gentleman could speak feelingly in that respect, for he has had a great deal to do with the framing of platforms, and, if I may say so, with disregarding them afterwards. Now, Sir, in regard to the appointment of census enumerators, it has been conceded by one or two gentlemen opposite-I think I am correct in saying by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's, and the hon. member for Gaspe and Maisonneuve (Mr. Le-mieux)-that the Civil Service Act has gone too far. I think those are pretty nearly the words used by both those hon. gentlemen. It seems to me that they are right. Time has demonstrated that the Civil Service Act has gone too far, and our position in regard to appointments to the Civil Service is absolutely illogical and ridiculous. In so far as making appointments for the taking of the census is concerned, surely the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's should be the last to complain. We had a census taken in 1911, when that hon. gentleman was a member of the Government, and I know I am right in saying that to all positions from the Atlantic and to the Pacific only their own political friends were appointed. There was no Civil Service Commission at that time to make those appointments; it never was thought of. In the county which I have the honour to represent the patronage was handed over to the defeated candidate. The appointments were made through that gentleman, and the work, I believe, was well done. It became quite apparent to the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George

Foster) that the Civil Service Commission could not possibly make these census appointments. That has been agreed to by hon. gentlemen opposite who have spoken, and who at the same time charged the Government with political patronage in this particular. Well, if the machinery provided by the Civil Service Act proved to be inadequate for the purpose, then it 'strikes me as a very natural thing for an old politician-statesman like the right ron. Minister of Trade and Commerce to fall back on a custom which has been in vogue in this country from time immemorial.

The hon. member for the two constituencies in the province of Quebec, the rural constituency of Gaspe and the industrial constituency of Maisonneuve, appears to be very much perturbed about the possibility of a return to patronage. He pictured in lurid language the horrors to which a member used to be subjected by patronage seekers, how he was worried and heckled and disturbed from morning till night. Well, Mr. Speaker, I can suggest to the hon. gentleman one way by which he, at least, could cut his worries in half should there be a return to the patronage system-by just resigning one of his two constituencies. I fancy every hon. member would think himself very fortunate if he could reduce all his political worries as easily as could the hon. gentleman. It is not my intention to discuss this resolution at any great length. I have spoken on this matter before, and I am perfectly consistent tonight when I express my opposition to the appointment to offices in this country being left in the hands of the Civil Service Commission. I am saying now something that I have said before in this House.

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L LIB
UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

Well, I am more concerned, naturally, about the Outside Service, but I would go beyond that and say I think a mistake was made in handing over the making of appointments for both the Inside and the Outside Services to a Civil Service Commission. Mr. Speaker, it is impossible for any three men occupying offices in Ottawa, I care not how capable they are, to make appointments to positions in all parts of this great country, from the Atlantic to the Pacifie. They cannot do it; the thing is not only impracticable, but impossible. They must seek advice from some source or from some person, whether the appointment is in British Columbia or in Nova Scotia-and I mention the extreme West and the extreme

East; in order to emphasize the impossibility of any three men in Ottawa carrying on that work. Under the present system these three gentlemen-and I say nothing whatever against them or their capabilities-are responsible for the selection of persons to fill positions in all parts of the country. But if a man is to be appointed in British Columbia or in Kingston, they cannot run out to British Columbia or to Kingston and investigate the matter personally; they must apply to some person in British Columbia or in Kingston on whom they can rely. The ridiculous and illogical feature of it is that they must not under any circumstances seek the advice of the member for the constituency, although the efficiency or inefficiency of the service depends upon whether or not the appointment is a good one-and the member for the constituency is the man who is held responsible for the proper carrying on of the work. The whole thing seems to me to be absolutely illogical.

I have no doubt that the intention was a good one when it was thought fit to make these appointments through a body of men here in Ottawa, but time and again we have had evidence of their inability to carry on. On some occasions they have advertised for applicants for a position and have literally been deluged with applications, whereupon they have delegated to men chosen by themselves the task of going over these hundreds of applications and weeding them out. Is that getting rid of patronage? It is merely the transfer of the work to some person who is responsible to no one.

The hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) said that he would not have-the operations of the Civil' Service Commission apply to the appointment of country postmasters and incumbents of small offices of that kind. But the principle is the same whether it is applied to some country post office or some larger office; I cannot see how it is possible for a board of three men to look into the merits or demerits of cases as they come before them and make proper selections. I do not think it is right; I do not think it is in the interests of the country. Moreover, the present system is most undemocratic. There is no more democratic way in making appointments to these positions than through the recommendation of the member. Suppose a postmaster is to be appointed, we will say, in the county of Frontenac. Now, what happens? If I have any astuteness as a politician I certainly am going to ascertain what the

people in that particular locality want. I am merely their representative or mouthpiece; they are the ones who are making the appointment. I contend, therefore, that the appointment through the member, the member then being held responsible, is by far a more democratic method than the making of appointments through a Civil Service Commission.

Now, I am going to express my candid opinion as to what should be done. I would like to see the Government remove at least the Outside Service, from the control of the Civil Service Commission. I want to go further than that and state what my position is-and I am speaking only for myself. I would-call it patronage if you like *-place the responsibility on the member for the making of appointments in his constituency, regardless of what side of the House he sat on or what party he supported. In this respect my view will probably differ from that of many hon. gentlemen in this House. But it does seem to me that when the people of a constituency expresses their wish at the polls to have a certain man do their business for them, that man should be entrusted with the recommendations for that constituency, not the man whom the people said they did not want to do that business for them. I would be willing to support this resolution if it were amended along the lines I have suggested. I repeat that this is merely my own view in regard to the matter. At all events, if that course were taken, the charge of making use of this responsibility for political purposes would, necessarily, very largely disappear.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Would my hon. friend

not maintain the commission for the appointment in the Civil Service here at Ottawa of technical officers and so on?

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

That probably might

be done. I think also that the Civil Service Commission can serve a very useful purpose in setting examination papers and examining candidates for important positions. You can have that examination test if you like; I would raise no objection to that. But for my part, I do not see how a minister of the Crown gets along in running his department. He must have a deputy minister; he must have certain clerks who will devote their whole time to the study of the details of his department. Here is a body of three men in Ottawa who have the say as to who is going to handle this, that, or the other branch of that department. The minister is held responsible for the proper administration of his department, but he

has nothing to say as to whether this clerk can or cannot perform more effective work than another in a certain branch. The decision in that regard rests with three gentlemen who cannot possibly understand the situation as well as he does, and who must apply to someone else with more knowledge of the subject than they can possibly possess. So I charge against the system as it is now that it must result in inefficient administration of the detailed work of a department; that no person can judge better than the minister and his deputy as to the arrangement of the clerks and officials in his particular department, and to take that duty out of his hands and put it into the hands of a board of three men, is, it seems to me, illogical and not in the best interests of the conduct of his department.

That is all, Mr. Speaker, that I wish to say in regard to the matter. It is not that I have any desire as a member of this House to handle the patronage pertaining to my constituency. In fact, I am sure, representing as I do a rural constituency, I am only saying what applies to practically every other rural constituency, namely, that the patronage does not amount to a hill of beans so far as the member is concerned; but the responsibility is there just the same. I do not care if the appointment is merely that of a country postmaster; if you put in a person whom the people of that section do not want and who is really not a proper person to occupy that office, while, under present conditions, the member has nothing to say about the appointment of that man, the member will undoubtedly be held responsible if that man proves inefficient in his position.

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. I. E. PEDLOW (South Renfrew) :

Mr. Speaker, in rising to address the House on this resolution, let me at the outset associate myself with those who have preceded me in this discussion with kind thoughts and words of appreciation of the effort made by the mover of this resolution, the hon. member for Victoria (Sir Sam Hughes). That gallant member has shown distinctly this afternoon the reason for the splendid work accomplished by him in the early stages of the war; he has shown the stuff of which he is made when, in his condition physically, he can come before this House and present a case in the manner in which he has presented it this afternoon. His effort deserves the congratulation of the House and the admiration of members on both sides.

Like the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) and the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Cannon), I cannot support the resolution in its entirety. I would though be in favour of some of the provisions of the resolution. Like the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards), I decline to subscribe to a condition that permits the defeated candidate in a constituency to have charge of the appointments in that constituency. I agree absolutely with the hon. member that the elected member, the person selected by the people as the fit and proper person to represent them on the floor of this House, should also represent them in the constituency in matters of that kind. I regret though that I cannot follow my genial friend any further in his remarks, nor agree with them, particularly, as regards the reference he made to the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding), when he spoke of that hon. gentleman's insincerity during his term of office, which was from 1896 to 1911. When the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's took charge of the finances of this Dominion, and when the government of which he was a member took control of the affairs of this Dominion, in 1896, those who are interested in the political affairs of the country know well the condition that obtained in Canada then; that there was depression on every hand and that the country was in almost a state of rebellion. But, as has been stated on the floor of this House, again and again, and on many platforms throughout the country, notwithstanding the moderate reductions made in the tariff by the hon. member who then controlled the destinies of the finances of this country-

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

I hope the hon. gentleman will not forget that we are discussing the question of patronage as proposed in the resolution moved by the hon. member for Victoria. I think it would be unfortunate if the hon. gentleman went on to discuss the general administration of a former Government.

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

In duty bound, I bow to the ruling of the Chair and I do so gracefully. I was merely replying to a point raised by the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards)..

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The point raised by the hon. member for Frontenac had to do with the question of the consistency of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's on the question of patronage. It had nothing to

do with his administration .in other respects.

Mr. PEDLOW; I had just about reached that point, Sir, when you called me to order. The then Minister of Finance proved conclusively that he had, during his term of office, saved the citizens of this country a sum of no less than $300,000,000 in customs duties. In this respect I claim that the then Minister of Finance was absolutely sincere in following the Liberal platform of 1893, and in this regard I think the hon. member for Frontenac was hardly fair to the hon. 'member for Shelburne and Queen's.

To return to the question that is immediately under discussion, the resolution moved by the hon. member for Victoria, and some of the remarks that have followed in regard to that subject, I claim that the defeated candidate has no right to have control of the patronage, if you like to call it that, in any constituency. The sitting member, as the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) has so well expressed the matter, the elected member for any constituency, regardless to which party he belongs, has and should have the right to represent his constituents both in this House and in the constituency.

Let me look for a moment at the condition of the Civil Service of this country. What do those of us who have had the privilege of going around the various departments find? Do we find peace and contentment? I am sorry to say that, in my judgment, the very opposite prevails. There is on every hand discontent, dissatisfaction and unrest, and the classification that has recently been made by the firm that was imported from the country to the south of us to do the work is, to a large extent, responsible for that condition. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) this afternoon made reference to the magnificent work accomplished by that concern, Arthur Young and Company and also Griffenhagen and Company, more particularly in the Printing Bureau. He claimed a great improvement in the efficiency and output of that department and so on. But since coming to Ottawa three weeks ago, I have been informed that the output of that department has been greatly reduced since those dismissals have taken place, and I understand that a large quantity of the printing that was formerly done by the Printing Bureau is now done by offices throughout the city of Ottawa outside of the Government service, that work being paid for by the Govern-

ment, so that the large amount of saving that is claimed by the Government through the dismissal of those 400 employees is to a large extent, a myth.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce intimated that part of the work accomplished by Young and Company was classification of positions and outline of requirements of the various departments. I found, on looking through the volume on classification of last session that one of the qualifications that was required was rather interesting and I will read it to the House. "Employees for the Senate cloak room." These employees were, amongst other things, required to be capable of rendering first aid. I have often wondered why this provision.

I agree most heartily with the conclusions arrived at by the hon. member for Maisonneuve and Gaspe (Mr. Lemieux), that the Civil Service Commission is doing a good work in this country. If this commission is developed along proper business lines and receives the assistance of those in the service, the heads of the departments, and if the Government will only place on the deputy ministers and the heads of each department, the responsibility that should be placed on them and pay them in proportion, not necessarily to length of service, but to the results produced by them, then and then only will this Government receive efficient service at the hands of the various departments of the Government.

The Minister of Justice claims that the underlying principle of the Civil Service legislation is good, but that there is room for improvement. I agree with him. I should like to know what institution of human origin is perfect. Even in their old age they go on improving from day to day, from week to week, and year to year. Notwithstanding the many shortcomings that have been observed in the operation of the Civil Service Commission in Ottawa, I have no hesitation in saying that it has already accomplished much, and I believe that if the commission receive the assistance and support they deserve at the hands of the Government and of Parliament they will accomplish much in the years to come, will accomplish much in the years to come.

The hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) stated that the Civil Service is undoubtedly sound and British to the core. I know something of the Civil Service in the Old Land, and the underlying principles that obtain there. Those principles are that appointments to the service shall be

upon competitive examination, and that promotions shall be based on length of service and ability. That is why the Civil Service of Great Britain is the admiration of governments the world over. I think that the system of competitive examination is the proper method of making appointments, to the Inside Service at least. There is a good deal in what has been claimed by my hon. friend from Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) with regard to the Outside Service. These latter appointments, I have no hesitation in saying, should be left to a large extent in the hands of the elected member. I do not make this statement because I desire to obtain work of that kind, for I know it is irksome and will not be a pleasant duty for any hon. member to perform. I am sure he will find that instead of it being a political advantage, it will be a disadvantage. However, he is the man best able to perform work of that kind.

We have heard very much this afternoon on the subject of patronage. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) is apparently adverse to patronage except in exceptional circumstances. Apparently he thinks that circumstances alter cases, and the exigencies of the situation appeal to him whenever that is necessary.

The hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) and the hon member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) entertained the House this afternoon with some correspondence they had had with the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. I have also had occasion to deal with this question of the appointment of census commissioners and enumerators. The impression seems to have been very general throughout the constituency of South Renfrew, largely, no doubt, due to the claim made by my opponent and his associates in the election of 1917, that patronage would be done away with if the Union Government were elected, that patronage actually had been abolished, and as a result I have been almost deluged with requests from individuals in every part of my riding for my influence in securing them an appointment as enumerator. I am not at all surprised they were of the opinion that I could assist them. Like my hon. friend from Quebec East, I also received a communication on Oct. 30th regarding the census of 1921. I shall not read the entire communication, but it sets forth what was stated by my hon. friend from Quebec

East this afternoon, enclosed a schedule of polling subdivisions, and asked me for a considerable amount of information. Feeling this was an olive branch thrown out along the line of the claims made by the Union Government in 1917, and since, I thought as the representative of the riding I would be quite justified in sending in the information asked for, which entailed a considerable amount of work, I wrote:

If you think I can be of any further assistance to you in this regard kindly write me again, and be sure and return the enclosed proclamation.

I had forwarded a proclamation giving information as to the different polling subdivisions. I went on:

Do you wish me to name some fit and proper person for the position of chief enumerator for the district of South Renfrew, or is it the Intention of the Government to have the appointees named by the Government candidate in the last election? It occurs to me that possibly now that the "patronage system" has been done away with, the duly elected representative in each riding will be consulted in matters of this kind.

I did not receive a reply to that part of my letter at that time, but some time later I received a letter from a friend in Toronto, a gentleman I have known for a great many years, and who has been employed on the teaching staff of one of the collegiate institutes there. He wrote in part as follows:

We male teachers were talking at the collegiate about the taking of the census next year.

Two or three years ago we helped in the registration and did our work for nothing. We think we should not be overlooked now. We, in the city here, are free early in the month of June and none can do the work better. Let patronage under our friend Meighen die, and give the appointments to teachers rather than to politicians.

I quoted that extract in a letter I wrote on November 15, to Mr. Coates as follows:

I have just received a letter to-day from a Toronto friend who is a teacher in one of the Collegiate Institutes in the city of Toronto, and I am taking the liberty of quoting the following extract from him.

That is, the quotation I have just read.

Now, I have no idea as to what arrangements your department proposes in regard to this matter, but it does strike we that the proposition made by my correspondent is a most excellent one, and deserves your earnest consideration. Men of this class are, undoubtedly, the best fitted for work of this kind, and there is no doubt about it, but that those selected for this work should be selected, regardless of politics. Patronage, which is supposed to have been buried since 1917, certainly should find no place in this work, and I sincerely trust your department will consider the subject along the lines suggested in the above quotation. By the way,

[Mr. Pedlow.j

your letter to me on November 2nd instant, in answer to mine of Nevember 1st, did not give a reply to the last paragraph, of that communication, and I have been wondering since if it was an oversight on your part.

I refer there to the paragraph I read a moment ago. Some days later I received the following communication from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, signed by R. H. Coates, Dominion Statistician:

Dear Mr. Pedlow, I have yours of 'November 15, and agree that the school teachers would make excellent enumerators. A difficulty in the way is the fact that the census will be taken on June 1, 1921, and we shall complete the work in the field within the next following three weeks, during which time, of course, the schools are still open. Our census, as you know, is a rather elaborate inquiry. The matter of the appointment of enumerators will not arise until about March next, when your suggestion will be fully considered. The census commissioners and enumerators will be appointed, as in previous censuses, namely, on the nomination of the Government. It is the intention to place the appointment of enumerators more directly under the commissioners and to hold the latter somewhat more responsible for them than in previous censuses. We took the matter up in detail with the Civil Service Commission, at whose suggestion the appointment of the field staff was left at the discretion of the department. The staff to be appointed for the work of compilation will, however, be named by the Civil Service Commission. I regret the delay in answering your previous inquiry in this matter, which is due to my absence from the city of Ottawa.

Now, I reported to my friend in Toronto, from whom I received a reply, and I shall quote the following short extract:

Toronto, December 11.-I have been informed just lately by Mr. Mowat that I shall have to see certain members of the Ward Conservative Association if I wish an appointment. So you see the ward heeler still has the pull and the teachers will simply stand aside and watch the other fellow perhaps less competent do the trick.

As I have already stated, I have received, in consequence of the. impression left in my riding, hundreds of communications asking me to appoint different persons in different sections of the riding as enumerators. But in every case I have replied that it was not within my province to do work of that kind, another gentleman in the riding, whose name I shall refer to later on apparently having been considered by the Government the fit and proper person to attend to this matter on behalf of the constituency. In this instance, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), who has always supported the. abolition of patronage, is apparently in the position of the Apostle Paul who says: " For the good that I would, I do not; and the evil which I would not that I do"; and " when I

would do good, evil is present with me." He also reminds one of Lot's wife, who, when leaving the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh!

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

Looked back on the pleasures of sin and was turned into a pillar of salt. Although the Minister of Trade and Commerce and his associates in the Government profess to have turned their backs on the evils of party patronage, in their heart of hearts, they still long for it. The hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. Chabot) said that he hated the present system, which he described as unbusinesslike, unsatisfactory, and unfair, and I agree with all that he has said. Why this hypocrisy, this insincerity, and all this humbug? The word " humbug " has been used rather frequently to-day, and I do not know a more appropriate word in this connection. The Minister of Trade and Commerce and his staff of 24,000 census employees bring to my mind the utterance of a celebrated citizen of this world who exclaimed: "Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would hot." But there is this difference in the present instance, that the Government members and the Government defeated candidates all over the country have done the gathering in of these 24,000 of the faithful to perform the compilation of the census returns. Mr. Speaker, "there is not so great faith," no, not in all Canada, as this method of doing away with party patronage serves to illustrate.

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UNION

Henry Herbert Stevens

Unionist

Mr. STEVENS:

I should like to ask

what my hon. friend has been quoting from?

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An hon. MEMBER:

The Bible.

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

I am afraid the hon.

member who asks this question is more conversant with overages in the wheat business and-

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An hon. MEMBER:

And Chinese immigration.

Topic:   POLITICAL PATRONAGE IN THE CIVIL SERVICE.
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L LIB

March 11, 1921