May 30, 1921

L LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Queen's) :

W'hen you

amalgamate the Inland Revenue with the Customs, are the two heads jointly in control of the amalgamated department?

Topic:   SUPPLY-BERRY AND CURRANT BOXES
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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

In many cases one or other of them is eligible for retirement, but that is a matter that rests with the Civil Service Commission.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

How would it affect the cost of collection if the minister had to pay rent for the buildings he occupies free of charge, or, in other words, if the matter were put on a purely commercial basis?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

The present policy has been followed since 1895, and probably before that.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie):

Would the

minister follow this practice in his own private business? Is that a proper statement to make to the committee?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

It is a practice that has been followed since Confederation by all governments. Furthermore, it is the practice elsewhere.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie):

The minister does not say whether or not he would follow this practice in his own private business. If there is to be any allowance made for rentals, it is purely a matter of bookkeeping to ascertain how that would affect the cost of collections.

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

W'e are simply following the practice that has been pursued since the first Government was formed.

I have no doubt that a calculation could be made, taking average rentals into account, and adding the total to the cost of collection: but, as I have said, we are only following the course that has been pursued for years.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie):

I do not wish to monopolize the time of the committee, but I do contend that even though previous Governments may have done as this Government is going, that is no answer to my question. We ought to know more approximately what is the actual cost of collecting the revenue.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Has the bonus been

paid, to date, to the various officers to whom it was granted, and does it extend to the Outside Service?

412j.

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

The bonus has been

paid to all officers of the Outside Service who are considered full-time officers. There are some employed in the outports who are considered only part-time officers, and who, under the Civil Service Act, are not entitled to the bonus.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Sydney is a large port with a considerable revenue. Are there any persons in that place who are not entitled to the bonus?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

All the officers at the

port of Sydney are entitled to the bonus, with the exception of three men on the outside who are sub-collectors. These are: Joseph Orr, of Port Morien, who receives $350 a year; Anthony McDougall, customs patrol officer, $250, and Ephraim McGilliv-ray, of Gabarouse, $300. These are only part-time officers, and they receive no bonus.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

These places are outports. Gabarouse is a place forty miles from Sydney. It is a port on the Atlantic coast, and I am sure the officer there must be in attendance pretty regularly. I know the place very well, and I cannot see the justice of denying him the bonus. He had bo go through the period of larger expense and harder times which other civil servants experienced, he gets the same salary he got before the war; and he ought to get the bonus. When the minister referred to "part-time" officers, I understood him to mean men temporarily employed; but these men in question are on the job all the time. They do not know the moment they may be wanted, and they must be constantly in attendance. In my judgment, therefore, they are not part-time, but full-time officers. The bonus, I understand, was given to supplement salaries during times of stress and high prices, and it was intended to take the place of permanent increases. I therefore cannot see the justice of depriving these men of the bonus.

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

If these men were

entitled to a bonus, the bonus would be larger than their salaries. The bonus for married men receiving certain salaries is $420 a year. The mere fact that these men receive only $250 and $350 a year is positive proof that they do not give their whole time to the service, and are otherwise employed. The Civil Service Commission, therefore, has decided that such men are only part-time officers, and should not be given the bonus.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

That may be so, but

a man should not be deprived of fair treatment because it happens that because he has a small salary the bonus would be higher than his regular pay. If the bonus were adjusted on the basis of a percentage on the salaries that civil servants receive, no matter how small a man's pay might be, it would always be more than the bonus. I repeat that I do not see why these men should not be given the bonus. I understand that the bonus is based on a percentage of one's salary and in no instance could it be greater than the salary. I do not understand how that could be effected but perhaps the department has very little to say about it. Still, it is a matter which the department could bring to the notice of the Civil Service Commission. As I said before I always thought that these small-salaried officers were getting the benefit of the bonus. I now find that is not the case. That they could be away froin their offices and do something else may be true; but they cannot be sufficiently far away from their offices at any time to prevent them from attending to their duties. I know a great many of these people; I know their situation and that their salary is small. Many of them only receive $250, but they seem to be fond of getting Government money and they take these positions. There seems to be some lure about Government money that other money does not possess. My hon. friend will find, if he makes inquiry, however, that even in the case of the smallest of these ports ships are passing in and out all the time. I might take the Bras d'Or lakes in my own county-or take the port of New Campbellton. That is a small place with a very small population, but ships are passing back and forth there all the time and these vessels are obliged to enter inwards and outwards. Well, the officer must be on hand to see those entries. I think that when we are dealing with the betterment of salaries the officers with smaller salaries should be recognized just the same as the men who are paid larger stipends. It is, perhaps, too late now to deal with the 'matter, although it ought never be too late to rectify a wrong. If the proper treatment has not been meted out to these men all over the country in connection with bonuses, it should not be too late, even now, to readjust the matter and see that the right thing is done. .

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

There is no distinction in the matter of bonuses. Some of these men are receiving $250 or $300 and others as low as $50 in salaries unless the bonuses

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REVISED EDITION. COMMONS


were on a percentage basis, or on a sliding scale, in many cases the bonuses would be larger than the men's salaries.


L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough) :

Coming back to the question of the cost of collecting the revenue, will the minister repeat the figures for 1920-21.

Topic:   SUPPLY-BERRY AND CURRANT BOXES
Subtopic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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May 30, 1921