April 4, 1922

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

But why expand it?

It has been a part of the Department of Mines for years.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

It has

not been in existence very long-about four years, I think.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Five years.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

It was established for the purpose of preserving life and property, and I think it is of considerable value. Outside of one or two of the officials mentioned, my hon. friend will find that the nine persons that have been added are largely young men who will go out on field work. I am informed that during the war the department was depleted to a great extent. I think my hon. friend will agree that in pre-war days there was really'a larger staff in the department than there is to-day. At least the deputy minister so informs me. The study of the structure of the earth's crust with respect to the location of oil and minerals is a very important work in this country, and I should like this vote to stand for this purpose. It may not be all used; we may not be able to get the men. As a matter of fact, that was one of the difficulties which my hon. friend had to contend with when he was the minister of the department; men could not be secured. More than that, the department could not hold the men at the salaries that were paid. Now, I am very desirous to see economy exercised in every department of the Government, but it must be recognized that we have to pay larger salaries to men who go into this class of work and who make investigational research their life work. No one can estimate the value of this work in dollars and cents, and at this stage of the development of Canada it is important that we attract all the capital possible to this country to develop our resources. That is what I have in mind in increasing research work in the field this year by the addition^of a few young men who will spend the summer months in various parts of the country.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There is a great deal in what the minister says. It is true that during the time I was minister we were

Supply-Mines

not able to hold the good men, and some perhaps not so good, at the salaries we were paying. At that time owing to the general commercial conditions very high salaries were offered in private service, particularly for expert geologists.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

And for

chemists as well.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes. They were

attracted by those offers and accepted them, and had the vacancies been filled immediately we would have had to fill them at a scale that I thought we could not maintain after the war, and certainly we would not be able to reduce it, for that is virtually never done. Therefore it seemed to me that in the public interest it would be better to wait until men could be secured at a more reasonable scale of salaries rather than throw out of line the scale for similar work in all the departments, because if men were brought in at a higher scale in one department that scale would have had to apply throughout the other departments. I see no objection to these positions if properly qualified men can be secured at reasonable salaries to do the work, so long as the offices are for the achievement of practical mineral work. But, for example, if the Vertebrate Palaeontologist has been taken away by the attraction of a high salary from a private company, I do not see that the vacancy should be filled. And my criticism still stands as to the Ethnologist. For the life of me I do not know why that position has been created. Nor would it occur to me that there is any need at all for an extra translator. Very often it happens that each department feels it has to have a translator of its own, and that translator has to have an assistant under him. It seems to me that if the translators on the principle suggested by my hon. friend from South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) could be brought together to do the translating for the various departments, there could, be a very great reduction in their number. Last year we had only one here; this year I notice an extra translator has been added. I have reviewed only a few. It is such positions as those that I should like to see reduced whenever it can be done without breach of contract with any of the men.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

I agree with a great deal that has been said with respect to this matfer, and as I am in charge of four departments employing a good many civil servants, I want to have an investigation conducted to ascertain whether or not we are now over-lapping in certain directions. If we are, then it is

within the power of the minister to reduce the positions. I am not able to say at the moment whether all of those officials are required or not, but I agree with what the right hon. leader of the Opposition has said, that in appointing Mr. Camsell he chose a very efficient official. From the explanations Mr. Camsell has given me I think he is desirous of getting results with the minimum amount of help. But I am pleading for sufficient money to employ those young men who are taking scientific courses in our universities, and during the few months of the summer season to put them out on this investigational work in order to secure results that will be valuable to those who are interested in our mineral development. I agree with my right hon. friend that those who invest money in such development require a very considerable amount of capital for the purpose. Therefore it should be our business to attract to Canada all the capital we can for the development of our mineral resources. I am not able to say at the moment that every one of these positions can be filled, but if they can be, and parties can be put out to gather valuable information for tabulation and use, it will be to the advantage of the country, and that as why I am asking for this vote.

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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

Does the minister know of any member of the government who is going to ask the House to accept lower estimates for the current fiscal year than for the fiscal year just passed?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

I have just finished the estimates of a department that is asking for a smaller vote-the Department of Indian Affairs.

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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

I am sorry I was not in the House at the time. But with that exception every department has shown an increase in its estimates for the current year.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

There was a reduction in my department.

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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

There were several etceteras added to the estimates of the minister's department.

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LIB

Charles Murphy (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

In my department there are very substantial reductions and no etceteras.

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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

We have not come to that department yet.

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LIB
CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

But I ask hon. members who have listened to the proposal put

Supply-Mines

forward if it is not the fact that upon the right hand side of the Estimates the amount is less than that appearing on the left hand side. In a word, these increased figures are characteristic of the Estimates so far, including what the minister proposes in this instance. The Department of Agriculture, wherein I expected my hon. friends to my left would have sounded the note of economy, has submitted estimates, and notwithstanding the provisions of the Civil Service Act we have found at the foot of the column an addition made for such sums as the minister might seek to add in case of promotion.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

That is too bad.

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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

Now, Mr. Chairman,

I have been called to account by two ministers, and that is enough. But I should like hon. members opposite to me, hon. members to the right of me, and hon. members to the left of me, to tell me of any single manufacturing concern in Quebec, Ontario, or in the West that within their knowledge has increased the salaries of its staff for the current year. I pause for any hon. member to rise in his place and say if that has been done. But we have had here with depressing uniformity, one case after another of ministers standing up and asking to be accorded the privilege of increasing the salaries of officials in their respective departments. Now, that is wrong. The country, irrespective of parties, is determined that economy shall be practised. A system of rigid economy coupled with intelligent business management, is what the country is looking for, but I submit that we are getting neither economy nor good sound business management.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have gone down the

list a little more carefully and would draw

New Positions Included 1922-23

1 Ethnologist.

1 Engineer Grade III.

1 Associate Vertebrate Palaeontologist.

2 Associate Mineralogists.

1 Associate Physical Anthropologist.

2 Assistant Geologists.

1 Principal Account Clerk.

1 Principal Clerk Book-keeper.

2 Engineers Grade 1.

1 Assistant Chemist.

the minister's attention to these additions- particularly the office of Ethnologist; I should like him not to forget the office of the Ethnologist. Then I see there is an Associate Vertebrate Palaeontologist. As far as I know that position has nothing to do with mines or mineral development.

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April 4, 1922