June 16, 1922

LIB

John W. Carruthers

Liberal

Mr. CARRUTHERS:

In Ontario, too- cut off very close to the shoulder, with only 30 days' notice given me and not even the semblance of an investigation. This was done by a gentleman whom a number of hon. members know, W. R. Smythe, exmember of Parliament for East Algoma, a gentleman employed a little later, and still employed, at a salary of some $4,000 per annum. He was appointed in October, just previous to the election. I understand he refused to go into East Algoma to support my opponent, Mr. Nicholson, unless he got the appointment. Within a week or two after, he got the appointment from the late government-and yet there was no patronage!

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CON

Thomas Edward Simpson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SIMPSON:

What is the source of my hon. friend's information when he makes the statement that Mr. Smythe refused to go into East Algoma during the last election campaign?

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LIB

John W. Carruthers

Liberal

Mr. CARRUTHERS:

Well, he went there immediately after. I might say, in regard to East Algoma, that I know of only one or possibly two unimportant offices held, in the whole of that large riding

of 40,000 square miles by Liberals today. The great majority of Liberals holding office were summarily dismissed after the election of 1911, and that cannot be contradicted. I wish, for the benefit of my hon. friends on the Government benches, to refer to the trouble they are liable to get into with the civil service in Ottawa. I wish to give concrete examples that I have run across since I came down here, as a member, to show that there is no continuity in the departments. It seems to be a pigeon hole service, a hole here and a hole there, and there is no connection between them. I came here and laid before the Post Office Department a claim for $178 owing to residents of my riding, and the inspector did not know anything about it. I said to him. "These men who make this claim are strictly honest business men, and I do not think they would make the claim unless they were entitled to the money." I left him then and in two weeks' time, I was called down to his office, and he said: " Doctor, you were right and I was wrong; we owe that money ". That was on the 8th day of May. He gave instructions to have that cheque issued by the department. A day or two ago I got a letter from one of these gentlemen, saying that they had never received the cheque. I went to the department, and the superintendent looked up the files and showed me where his order had been issued that the money should be paid on the 18th May. It was never paid. On the 13th June that cheque had not been issued. There is an example of the overmanned Civil Service of the City of Ottawa. Someone is responsible for that. That money had been owing by the government to these people for nearly a year, and yet payment was delayed from the 18th May, and I do not know whether it is paid yet. It may go back into the pigeon hole, and I may get a letter a month hence, asking about that cheque.

I wish to refer to another matter in connection with the Marine Department. I do not like to make these complaints, but I think the minister should know, because he will get the blame, and not the subordinates. It was in connection with a derelict tug boat that was sunk in the channel of Little Current, last fall. This tug boat went upon a shoal, and lay in such a position that logs could not be towed through the channel, and millions of feet of logs have to be towed through every summer. Mr. Burke, of the Mid-

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land Towing Company, wrote me in the winter. I came here early in March, to have the matter rectified, and I went to the department. Just before the towing season began, I got a wire from Mr. Burke, saying that his tug would he at the head of the channel in one week, and no move had been taken to remove the derelict from its position in the channel. I went down to the department and asked them to show me the files, in order to see what had been done, and what did I find? The department had written one letter to the insurance company, who held insurance on that tug, and had written one letter to the owners of the tug, and the matter dropped. It was never followed up: There should

be some driving force to keep those things in motion, and therefore, as I say, I think I should bring this matter to the attention of the Government so that the minister may take action in the matter. Those are two concrete cases that, as I say, I find fault with. I do not know whether the trouble is due to the Civil Service Commission or not, but I do not wish my friends in the Government to get the blame of it.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I did not intend to take part in this debate; but the thought has struck me that it is rather extraordinary that, throughout the whole discussion, so far as I have heard-and I have been here during the most of it-not one word of praise has come from my hon. friends opposite for the Civil Service Commission. Apparently, many of them have been hit very hard or have been approached very strenuously since the election, and I understand the position must be difficult for a government getting into power after it has been out. I have never had the experience of being in Parliament when patronage existed. I came here in 1917 and when I look back I can think of no position that was filled in my constituency since I came into the House in which appointment I had any power whatever.

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Can the hon. member point to a single instance where the government of which he was a member, or the so-called Union Government of 1917 to 1921, ever gave a position of any sort to a person who was known to be a Laurier Liberal?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not know of any appointments being given to Laurier Liberals, but I know of a number that were given to Liberals.

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I can name Senate appointees of the Liberal faith who, in the recent election, got out and fought against members of the late Union Government. That, however, is not the point.

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CON

John Lawrence Stansell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANSELL:

I think I can give the hon. member a case if he wishes it. I have in my constituency a man who was a life-long supporter of the Conservative government. He was retired and he had appointed in his place in 1921 a strong Laurier Liberal.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

What I was going to say was that I had never anything to do with any appointment in my constituency, and I have never had a complaint from my constituency because I have not had anything to do with the appointments. I have no complaint to make of the fact that I have had nothing to do with appointments, and I am very glad to be rid of that occupation. I remember my predecessor and many in this House of the older members will remember Jim Conmee. He was a member in the old days when patronage existed on both sides. Whenever a government was Conservative, the Conservatives got the favours, and whenever a government was Liberal, the Liberals got the favours. I remember a joke told on him and I rather think it was true, that one day he came into my constituency and was told that during the election So-and-so was working against him. He said: "That is rather a funny thing; I have never done him a favour." The idea is the same as my experience has been that, wherever I have been able to do favours-I am not speaking in a political sense-in most cases the man for whom I have done favours has been very apt to be the first man to oppose me. I remember a case of a man in my constituency who was appointed by the same Jim Conmee in 1907, and given a good position. After 1911, the Conservative party kept him in the same position and his salary gradually increased, until to-day he is getting a pretty good salary. During the last election, not openly, but privately, this gentleman supported the Progressive who was opposing me, so that he went back on both the Liberal party which had appointed him and the Conservative party which had kept him in his position.

I wish to say just one word in fairness to the Civil Service Commission, because that is really what I rose to do. I have had no occasion, since I have been a mem-

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ber, to make appointments or to suggest appointments to them. In a few cases where returned soldiers have asked me to recommend them, I have given them a general letter of recommendation; but I have yet to think of any such man that was appointed by the Civil Service Commission. I have, however, no complaint to make of any appointment made in my constituency by the Civil Service Commission.

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I did not get miy friends. I have stated that, as regards any man whom I have recommended in a general way, I have not had one appointed; but I have never had a complaint from my constituency as regards appointments made by the Civil Service Commission. In other words, as regards appointments made in my constituency and also, I believe, in the neighbouring constituency of Port Arthur, there have been no complaints by the people of those constituencies. I believe it is only fair that that should be said about the Civil Service Commission. I admit there are faults in the present law and no doubt they should be remedied. Perhaps there are cases where the Civil Service Commission could favour the member of the constituency and do it in justice to all parties concerned. I have had this happen in my constituency-and this is irritating

that an inspector has come in to make inquiries regarding an appointment in the Civil Service and he has consulted many other people but has not come to me. I believe that he should have consulted me as well as other people, but I think the appointment was a good one when he made it.

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LIB

Harold Putnam

Liberal

Mr. PUTNAM:

Was the hon. gentlemlan satisfied that the returned soldiers whom he recommended were turned down?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I had no particular complaint to make because the positions were given to returned soldiers. If they had been given to other than returned soldiers, I would have had a complaint.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not know, but I am simply saying that I know of none of them that got an appointment. I have, however, no complaint to make of the appointments that were made.

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June 16, 1922