June 1, 1921

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Then it comes down to the point of Parliament determining what classes should be included and what classes excluded, rather than leaving it to the commission.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I quite agree that a year or two from now after sufficient study has been made of this situation, Parliament should incorporate in the law the exceptions which should be made. But I am quite sure that neither the committee nor Parliament is this year in a position to decide ^exactly what the exclusions should be. We do not know enough about the situation to put in the statute itself the clauses that should be excluded. Let me give my hon. friend an example. I would not hesitate at all to say that the manual labour required on our survey parties, canoe men. paddle men, axe men and men of that class, who must be got away out in certain regions in the West and in the northern regions of Ontario and Quebec, should be excluded. On the other hand I would hesitate very much to exclude manual labourers in the city of Ottawa. That is why we propose that the Civil Service Commission should have power to exclude, in whole or in part, any class of employees. It is a matter that they should take into consideration and determine for themselves. But again I say that, under the law as it exists, the Civil Service Commission cannot take the ground that it is impracticable for them to appoint every manual employee anywhere in Canada. So long as they exclude, they are not acting legally; they are breaking the law, and we should not place the Civil Serivce Commission in that position. The law should be broad enough to give them discretion to act where they think it is in the proper interest that they should act. If I had time before six o'clock, I should like to give the facts, because I have in my hand the evidence of the commission itself on this point and I think it is very material. I will read some extracts because the com-

mittee should have this well before it. 1 will take the matter up in order, and I do not think it will take very long. We were discussing the question of these foreign appointments in our trade commissioner's offices, our immigration offices and other offices. As it was, the commission have been making these appointments until quite recently. They have struggled with them for a year and a half. There is some sort of a tentative arrangement now whereby the department has a good deal to say and to do in connection with these matters. This question was asked of Mr. Foran, secretary of the commission:

I think you must acknowledge that as far as qualifying people away in those far off depart-merits it is a difficult thing: for your commission to handle that thing successfully?

Mr. Foran's answer was:

I think the commission has recognized that not only regarding positions in foreign countries, but with regard to a certain number of positions in the Civil Service here. They had an Order in Council passed exempting all positions where the salary was less than $200.

I should like to have followed Mr. Foran on that, because I have no knowledge of that Order in Council going through. That would exempt a very large number of outport men, wharfingers and men of that class. I have not as yet heard of their being exempted. Mr. Foran continued:

There was a suggestion that that amount of salary should be increased, and smaller positions exempted and that is under the consideration of the Commission at the present time.

Then the question was asked:

In connection with the foreign appointment I presume after this all came into force the commission felt it had to carry out the law?

Mr. Foran's answer was:

Absolutely.

What did this mean? It meant simply that when we passed the law two years ago, if a trade commissioner in Melbourne wanted a stenographer in his office, he had to apply to the Civil Serivce Commission in Canada, and the Civil Service Commission in Canada had to go through all the rigmarole in order to appoint a stenographer away off in Melbourne.

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LIB
UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

They were on the ground of "impracticability." Then the question was asked:

But as a result of your experience for a year or two do you not think that all the clerical positions at least in foreign countries might be exempted by the commission?

His answer was:

Yes, sir. !

Members of the committee will remember that after Mr. Foran had given his evidence, Dr. Roche was asked if he agreed with the evidence given by Mr. Foran, and Dr. Roche stated that he did and that he had nothing to add. Then Mr. Griesbach asked this question:

What steps will you take to get that done now?

That is to have those appointments in foreign offices exempted. Mr. Foran replied :

We will have an Order in Council passed under section 38 A of the Civil 'Service Act.

But it has not been done. They are still struggling with this question of foreign appointments. Do members of the House take the ground that the Civil Service Commission of Canada should deal with these purely clerical appointments in South America, Australia, South Africa, Great Britain and so on? I do not. I say that it is not in the public interest.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

All those "impossible" and "impracticable" conditions that the minister puts before the committee existed before the original Act was passed. Why did not the minister in his wisdom see to it that those things were provided for before he started the ball with the original Bill?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

That is another feature of the question. I am dealing with the situation as it exists at the present time. Then this question was asked:

You are going to get, do you say?

That is, to get this done. His answer was:

Yes. You know we have had so much to do, General, we have not had time to prepare what we regard as a reasonable exemption list. There is no Civil Service Commission in any country who has not got this exemption list. There are necessary positions in the service which do not lend themselves to competition where the head of the department should have the right to select.

That is Mr. Foran's evidence. He continues :

That is admitted by all Civil Service reformers, and that is one of the duties of the commission, hut we have never been able to get to that, we have had so much to do with the reclassification and other work on us from time to time.

This question was asked:

You have been operating under that law for a period of about two years. Do you not think after the experience you have had during

those two years that the commission might sit down with the deputy ministers of these departments and consider the whole situation from that angle?

That is from the angle of exemptions. Mr. Foran replied:

I have no hesitation in saying, Mr. Calder, that that would be the proper procedure to follow.

That is, instead of the special committee attempting to ascertain what classes should be exempted from the operation, Mr. Foran's view, Which was concurred in by Dr. Roche, chairman of the commission, was that they should have an opportunity during the Course of the next two or three months to sit down with the deputy heads and the chief officers of the departments in order to determine what classes should be exempted.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Did Mr. Roche in his

evidence not state that he feared being dictated to by some minister?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I do not remember that.

It may have been in connection with some features of the evidence.

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UNION
UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Mr. Currie asked this

question:

In other words, an Order in Council would put the whole situation under the old system?

Mr. Foran replied:

It would come on the recommendation of the Commission but not without the recommendation of the Commission.

Mr. Griesbach asked this question: Is there any possibility of doing that?

Dr. Roche then spoke as follows:

We would have to certify to the Governor in Council it was impracticable to fill it.

That was the view taken by Dr. Roche, that, unless they could certify in their recommendation to the Governor in Council that it was impracticable to fill these positions, they should not make a recommendation to the Govenor in Council. In answer to another question Mr. Foran stated:

I think Dr. Roche, the Chairman, stated the other day that experience has shown that some changes are necessary, and some exemptions must be made if you are going to have this law respected by public men and the public generally, because if you point out the procedure that is followed with reference to certain appointments, I think that the public feel that we are going to extremes.

That statement is made by Mr. Foran in the presence of Dr. Roche who, at the conclusion of Mr. Foran's evidence, stated that he did not disagree with Mr. Foran's evidence. In other words in so far as certain

of these positions and certain appointments are concerned, they are attempting to deal with things that are in a sense almost impossible. They admit that they are going to extremes in endeavouring to carry out this law; and the conclusion we came to after hearing all the evidence is that the commission itself should have power to rectify these things. Wherever they find, in conjunction with the deputy heads of departments, that it is in the public interest-not_ in the interests of the Government, nor in the interest of the Civil Service, but in the interest of the good administration of public business in this country- that certain appointments should be exempted from the law and should be made more directly than they are at the present time, the commission should have power to arrange accordingly.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Will the initiative in that respect belong solely to the commission?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Entirely.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I ask my hon. friend if there is any obligation on the part of the commission to make a report to Parliament in regard to appointments made in that way, in the public interest, giving the special reasons?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I think that is a clause that might very well be included in the Bill. Personally, I am inclined to the view, although I doubt if the commission themselves are, from discussions I have had with them,-not before the committee, but more or less offhand after our meetings that we should put the exemptions that are made in the statute; but probably it would be better for a year or two to elapse before that is done. Let us first work the thing out a little further. I quite agree that it would be advisable, for the protection of the commission, and of Parliament, and of the public, that these exemptions should be reported upon to Parliament,. setting forth the reasons why the exemptions werb made in particular cases.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Perhaps the minister would draft a clause covering that during the dinner hour.

Progress reported.

At Six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at Eight o'clock. SUPPLY

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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Hon. J. D. REID (Minister of Railways and Canals) :

When the House is again in

Committee of Supply, I propose to amend the wording of the two items contained in resolution No. 126 and to be found on page 85 of the Main Estimates for the current year, so that the said items will read as follows:

Loan not exceeding $89,687,633.39 repayable on demand with interest at the rate of six percent per annum, payable half-yearly, to be used (where amounts available from net operating earnings may be insufficient) to meet expenditures made or indebtedness incurred al any time by or on behalf of the Canadian National Railway Company, the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada or any company comprised in the Canadian National Railway system or the Grand Trunk Railway system, or any of them (excluding herefrom, however, expenditures or indebtedness incurred by or on behalf of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company except as specifically provided in item (f) hereof) on any of the following accounts: (a) operating deficits, (b) acquisition of property, materials and supplies, (c) interest on notes, securities or obligations, (d) the principle and interest of maturing or matured loans, secured or unsecured, (e) construction and betterments, (f) guarantees by the said Grand Trunk Railway Company of securities of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, such loan to be secured by mortgage or mortgages upon the undertaking of the Canadian National Railway Company or the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada on such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council may approve. The loan or assistance herein authorized may be made in cash or by way of guarantee, or partly in cash and partly by guarantee, in the discretion of the Governor in Council. Any guarantee from time to time given under the authority herein may be of the principle and interest of the notes, obligations or securities of the Canadian National Railway Company or the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada and may be signed by the Minister of Finance, on behalf of His Majesty, in such form and on such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council may approve $89,687,633.39

Loan not exceeding $26,000,000, repayable on demand with interest at ithe rate of six per cent per annum, payable half-yearly, to be used (where amounts available from net operating earnings may be insufficient) to meet expenditures made or indebtedness incurred at any time by or on behalf of the Canadian National Railway Company or the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company or any company comprised in the Canadian National system or in the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway system, or any of them, (excluding herefrom, however, guarantees by the Grand Trunk. Railway Company which are provided for in item (f) of the next preceding item), on any of the following accounts: (a) operating deficits, (b) acquisition of property, materials and supplies, (c) interest on notes, securities or obligations, (d) the principal and interest of maturing or matured loans, secured or unsecured, (e) construction and betterments; such loan to be secured by mortgage or mortgages upon the undertaking of the Canadian National Railway Company or of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company on such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council may approve. The loan or assistance herein authorized may be made in cash or by way of guar-

antee, or partly in cash and partly by guarantee, in the discretion of the Governor in Council. Any guarantee from time to time given under the authority herein may be of the principal and interest of the notes, obligations or securities of the Canadian National Railway Company or the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, and may be signed by the Minister of Finance, on behalf of His Majesty, in such form and on such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council may approve $26,000,000

I therefore beg to move that said items in amended form be referred to the Committee of Supply.

I also beg to inform the House that His Excellency the Governor General has been informed of the proposed changes and recommends them to the House.

House again in Committee of Supply, Mr. Boivin the Chair.

Railways and Canals-Estimates chargeable to income, $167,117,790.72.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Before the committee resumes the consideration of the two items forming part of resolution No. 126 and printed on page 35 of the Main Estimates for the current year, and the proposed amendments to the said items moved by the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals in this committee on Monday, May 30, 1921, I desire to' draw the attention of the committee to the fact that when the said amendments were proposed, they were accepted by the Chairman merely as notices of amendments and subject to further consideration. The point of order to be decided was whether or not, as these amendments involved a change in the destination of the grant, it was competent for the hon. minister to make the announcement in committee, that the proposed changes had been submitted to His Excellency the Governor General and that they had been recommended by him to the House.

I have given to this matter careful thought and consideration and find that according to the rules and usages of Parliament no change in the destination of an Estimate submitted to the House of Commons by His Excellency the Governor General can be made in Committee of Supply unless that change has been submitted to, approved by and commended to the House by His Excellency. The changes involved in these amendments had been submitted to His Excellency and approved by him and the only question in doubt was whether or not the announcement should have been made in Committee of Supply or in the House itself. Upon this point, I find that all announcements of this nature have always been made in the House and not in

committee and that this usage is based not only upon the fact that the announcement should be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Commons but also for the reason that all messages received from His Excellency the Governor General should be communicated to the House with the greatest possible respect, dignity and decorum. I have already communicated to the hon. minister my ruling upon this point of order and the proper announcement of His Excellency's approval and commendation having been duly made before the House resolved itself into Committee of Supply, to-day, the proposed amendments are now in order and can be duly considered and voted upon by this committee.

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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Hon. Mr. REID:

Among the items embraced in Item No. 126 is one on highways. Some information has been asked for in connection therewith, and I am now in a position to discuss that subject. I suggest, therefore, that we take up the item dealing with highways.

Commissioner of Highways: To provide for the organization and payment of staff of Commissioner of Highways, including A. W. Camp-hell, C.E., as Commissioner of Highways at $5,000 per annum, $53,000.

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UNION

Gordon Crooks Wilson

Unionist

Mr. WILSON (Wentworth) :

In rising to address the committee on this question, I do so on the ground that the expenditure on highways in the province of Ontario is already too great. The item under discussion provides for a staff in connection with highways. As hon. gentlemen are all aware, under the Highways Act, the province and the counties pay a certain percentage, and the Dominion makes a grant of $20,000,000 to be divided amongst the provinces on the basis of population, this grant being available up to April 1, 1924. Ontario's share is $5,877,275. The Ontario plan for good roads calls for 1,824 miles, and the Minister of Public Works of the province of Ontario says he expects to spend $14,000,000 in two years. I have placed on the Order Paper some questions which still remain unanswered, and had I the answers to these questions I could possibly speak with more authority and precision on the subject. As I proceed, however, I shall ask the minister for such information as I desire. In the first place, I do hot favour this dual control in the building of roads. I was going to say it is a crime, but certainly it is almost an utter impossibility to get any information in connection with the matter. If ;I go to the Department of Public Works of the Dominion, I am referred to the province of Ontario, and

they in turn refer me to the Dominion. Now, let us take some of the highways that have been 'built and the expenditures which have been made in connection therewith. The Hamilton-Brantford highway covers a distance of 19.18, or say, 19 1-5 miles; 112-5 mites are in the township of An-caster in the county of Wentworth, which I have the honour to represent, and 7.78 miles are in the township of Brantford. Probably some hon. members may consider that the course I am pursuing to-night is rather out of the ordinary, as I am speaking in regard to a county, a portion of which is represented in the Ontario Legislature by the Minister of Public Works of Ontario, I had the honour to represent what has been known in the Legislature of Ontario, from 1908 to 1911, as the riding of North Wentworth. The riding, as represented in this House, is known as Wentworth, comprising North and South Wentworth, and it may be considered strange that I should rise to-night to express my views upon the good roads question in opposition to the Minister of Public Works of Ontario. A certain article appeared in the Toronto Star Weekly on Saturday, May 21, 1921, and, but for the fact that that article was published, I do not know that I would pay so much attention to the matter as I purpose doing to-night. In this article the Hon. Mr. Briggs, is reported as follows :

The whole trouble is, he said, that the good road question has become one of Ottawa politics. Our good friend who represents Wentworth in the Dominion House has developed into the highest type of good-road knocker that can be found in the land.

Let me say that I am not opposed to the good road scheme, but I believe in a fair distribution of the work on the roads all over the Dominion of Canada. If hon. gentlemen will refer to the questions I have put, and the answers which appear in unrevised Hansard May, page 3698, and May 26, page 4030, they will see that the part of the country from which I come is being very favourably looked after. The road I am now discussing is known as the Hamilton-Brantford road. The estimated cost is $658,907.05, but estimated cost and actual cost are two different things. Take the portion of it that has been completed, what is known as the Hamilton-Dundas road from Paradise road as far as Binkley's corners, a distance of 9,100 feet. That has cost to date, without the proposed boulevard $141,253.46.

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UNION

June 1, 1921