June 16, 1922

LIB
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

As I understand the existing law, where a number of men try an examination, if one of them is a returned soldier and he passes the examination, he comes before any other man who passes. If the soldier fails on the examination, then, theoretically at least, he is supposed not to be able to fill the position.

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not say that I agree with some of the questions that are put, but I agree with the principle of examination, or you could not have anything in the shape of a Civil Service Commission. I have not gone into the question in detail, but I have seen in the press some of the questions that have been put. Generally speaking, the principle of examination is correct.

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LIB

Harold Putnam

Liberal

Mr. PUTNAM:

Would that not depend entirely upon the common sense of the questions in regard to the duties required of a man in a position?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The questions should certainly relate to the job; and what I say is that if the questions do not relate to the job I would not agree with them. I am trying to point out that the principle of examination is what I stand for, not for the questions that may be put.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure) :

Does the hon. member approve of the way appointments are made at the present time?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That is the case I cited. When an inspector comes into a constituency to make an appointment, I think it should be his duty to call upon the sitting member amongst other people and give his views consideration. That has not been done sufficiently, in my experience at least. I wish, however, to say that generally, by and large, I have found the Civil Service

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Commission something which has not been complained about in my constituency. I wish to be fair to them in saying that, and I have never had an appointment made through them. I think it is only fair to them that those who have had that experience should say so. We have not had many instances, certainly none from the opposite side, and very few from this side, of rendering them the justice that, I believe, is due them. They occupy a very difficult position, and I believe, by and large, they occupy it pretty well.

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

If everything was so

perfectly satisfactory, particularly as regards the outside service, why did you want the Spinney Bill last session?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I did not specially want

it. I do not remember even what the Spinney Bill was. Everything is not satisfactory, improvements can be made, but I do not believe that the people as a whole are willing to go back to the old patronage system.

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LIB

Joseph-√Čloi Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. J. E. FONTAINE (Hull) (Translation) :

Mr. Chairman, I have no intention at this late hour to speak at length; moreover the ground has fairly well been covered by the hon. members who 'preceded me in this debate; nevertheless this question concerning the Civil Service is so important that I deem it my duty to give to this House my views on the subject. Let me first state that I have nothing against the commissioners of the Civil Service; they are eminent men in whom I have confidence; however, I believe that the late government overburdened them with work and perhaps even with excessive powers. Mr. Chairman, it has always been an element cf surprise to me to hear the hon. ministers, in answering questions asked by members, state that they could not be held responsible for the present state of things, and that their authority was very limited over a great number of their employees; the same could be said with reference to their salary; finally that they were entirely in the hands of the Civil Service Commission. Perchance, would that Commission be more important than the Government? Again, I believe that the Borden government invested this commission with too much power. The thought which guided the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in establishing the Civil Service Commission was to give the commission, so far as positions were concerned, control of the inside service; that is to say that examinations

would be held and the most successful candidate would be given the vacant post. 'So far as this went, it was quite correct. But a great blunder was made in 1917, when the late government handed over the control of the outside service to the Civil Service Commission. I cannot see how the members of that commission can, with efficiency, choose workmen, elevator men, carpenters or persons belonging to other trades. I believe that members are better judges of those who have such qualifications to fill these positions. I repeat, in my opinion, that it was a mistake to give the control of the outside service to the Civil Service Commission. Now, I wish to pass a few remarks in regard to the famous re-classification which was made, a few years ago, by Griffenhagen and Company.

I always thought it bad policy that the Borden government considered it wise to fetch foreigners from the United 'States to perform work that they should have done themselves. I contend that the heads of departments were sufficiently qualified to classify the employees. I fail to understand how these foreigners in the course of a few weeks could size up the qualities r.eeded or the value of the work of such employees. Accordingly many complaints have reached us ever since this classification was made. No one was satisfied; all the employees complain and say they have been unjustly dealt with, and I believe they are perfectly right. To my personal knowledge, I am aware that employees having important duties to fulfil, receive, according to this famous re-classification, very inferior salaries. I was anxious to protest against the work done by these gentlemen who have upset everything in the Civil Service and created discontent everywhere they set foot. It seems to me that salaries amounting to six or seven hundred dollars per year are not equitable. I do not believe that an employee can live in a decent manner with a salary of fifty or sixty dollars a month. I cannot understand how these gentlemen who had charge of the reclassification could have discovered positions at such paltry remuneration. I am convinced that the grievances are well founded and ask the Government to start anew, at least for some parts of the service, this re-classification made with such lack of knowledge and very often unjustly. I am aware that the Government must protect the interests of the ratepayers, but on the other hand they must be just towards the employees of the Civil Service. They are an important

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class of servants; they are for the most (part able men, and once more, I repeat it, I believe they have cause to complain of the manner in which things were conducted.

A short while ago, I heard some hon. members on the Opposition side make the statement that in their counties there had been no dismissal of employees when the Conservative party assumed power, in 1911. I have no knowledge of what occurred in my neighbour's counties but I can state that in my constituency many employees and competent ones, who were irreproachably fulfilling their duties, were dismissed for the simple reason that they were Liberals. I know that in my constituency, as well as in the county of the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) a great number of postmasters were removed without cause, simply owing to their connection with the Liberal party; I also know that a great number of employees, in the different departments were dismissed. I might cite the case of a lock watchman, belonging to my constituency, who was discharged because he was a Liberal. Moreover a great number of workingmen of Hull, who were employed by the Public Works Department, were dismissed for the same reason: they were Liberals. The Borden government, between the years 1911 and 1914, dismissed 11,000 employees, under the guise of economy, yet, it found it possible to replace these 11,000 by 23,000 employees who were taken into the service during the same period. It goes without saying that these gentlemen now in the Opposition have made a frightful abuse of patronage. After dismissing our friends, they overcrowded the departments with their own friends, and some time later they passed this famous legislation abolishing patronage, knowing fully well that they would be defeated in the election as it so happened, however making sure beforehand of the permanency of their friends.

I want to protest against this way of doing things, and I feel fully confident that the present Government, which is prompted by a desire to render justice to all groups, will find means to ameliorate the present situation and will amend the Civil Service Act in a way that all political parties will be put on the same footing. I do not believe that it is in the country's interest that the party in power alone should have the right to distribute favours, as it was practised by the Conservative party.

Once more, in the name of my electors and those of the whole country, I ask the

Government to amend the Civil Service Act in such a way as to pay equitable salaries to employees, so that like all other citizens of this country, they may be placed in such circumstances as to enable them to bring up their families decently.

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LIB

Hermas Deslauriers

Liberal

Mr. HERMAS DESLAURIERS (St. Mary) (Translation):

whose efficiency was not to be gainsaid, were deliberately cast aside. When we came to enquire about the qualifications of this young man who, on the recommendation of the higher Library officials, climbed from the position of messenger to that of assistant secretary or book-keeper, I do not know exactly, the one who had recommended him was not aware whether he had passed any examinations. To the truth of this statement, the Speaker of the House of Commons might bear testimony as he was chairman of this committee. You cannot imagine the answer we were given! Mr. Tache in his answer put down a date which allows me to state, that at that time, the person whom he recommended could hardly have been born. Well, Mr. Chairman, do you think that Parliament can ratify the acts of this Civil Service Commission, which acts on such information as I have just stated? I contend that under the present circumstances, when we must ever be practising economy, we have no right to waste the money of the Public Treasury.

In the money order branch of the Post Office Department, there is a young clerk with twelve or fifteen years' experience, who has trained three of his companions to the work that is done in that branch. Now, of late, high officials of this Department-as in the case I was mentioning a moment ago -recommended to the Civil Service Commission those three pupils, the first of which is deserving, the second being so, so, and the third utterly worthless; however, their "coach" was deliberately kept in the background although his record is most satisfactory.

There is in the Naturalization branch of the Department of the Secretary of State- we must look into every corner-a licentiate of laws-a qualification which is essential for that kind of work-who took a full course of classical studies; and next to him is a man who has had only a very elementary education, with no legal knowledge, whose salary nevertheless, is higher than his own.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Shame!

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LIB

Hermas Deslauriers

Liberal

Mr. DESLAURIERS (Translation) :

A public servant taking advantage of his position to secure for himself back pay and an increase in salary should be called upon to clear himself before his remuneration is confirmed. For instance, we have the example of the secretary of the Civil Service Commission, Mr. W. Foran. When a question is put or information is asked for

by an hon. member whom the people have elected, so that he might uphold the public interests, that member is entitled to be acquainted with the whole truth, even by the Secretary of the Civil Service Commission. Thus, when the hon. member from Belle-chasse (Mr. Fournier) was asking questions concerning the commission, its secretary was bound to state the facts. The hon. member asked:

1. Has the Secretary of the Civil Service Commission been classified?

2. If so. by whom?

3. What was his salary on April 1, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921 and 1922?

4. Did he receive any back pay ?

5. If so, what amount?

6. At what date, month and year?

On April 10, 1922, the hon. Secretary of State gave the following answers:

1. Yes.

2. The Parliament of Canada, on the recommendation of the Civil Service Commission. (See classification volume adopted 10th November, 1919).

3. April 1918, *4,000 ; 1919, $4,260 ; 1920,

$4,400 ; 1921, $4,620 ; 1922, $5,100.

4. Yes.

5. $960.

6. 31st December, 1921.

As you may see, we are referred for our evidence to the classification volume adopted on November 10, 1919.

On May 5, 1922,1 put the following question to the Government:

How many coipies of the edition of the 10th of November were distributed.

This is the answer I got: "No edition on that date."

On the 10th of April, he answers in a certain way, and on May 5, he answers in a different way. However, he applies for a full salary and above all for numerous and substantial increases!

As to his salary, this is what it was on the several dates I am going to give: March 31, 1918, according to the report from the Auditor General, a salary of $3,700 was granted to the secretary of the Civil Service Commission, while in Hansard of April 10, 1922, it is seen that during the year 1918, his salary was $4,000. In the Auditor General's report dated May 31, 1919, the salary of that official is given as $3,800, while according to Hansard of April 10, 1922, that salary in 1919 was $4,260. The report states that on March 31, 1920, Mr. Foran was receiving $4,440 a year and Hansard shows that to be correct. According to the report, the salary of the secretary of the Civil Service Commission was $4,400 on March 31, 1921, but then from the answer

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given by the Secretary of State and printed in Hansard on the 10th of April, 1922, that gentleman's salary during 1921 amounted to $4,620; and also from Hansard of the same date Mr. Foran's salary for the year 1922, is $5,100. On December 31, 1921, the secretary of the Civil Service Commission received an amount of $1,220 as back-pay.

I must add that following the official volume upon the classification of the civil service in September, 1919, the sum of $4,620 was agreed on as the maximum salary of the secretary of the commission. Now, that gentleman succeeded in having it raised to $5,100 What should be done under these circumstances? He ought to be compelled to obey the law or, better still, be asked to retire.

Now, a few moments ago, I told you how the organization board of the Civil Service Commission held examinations. We are anxious about getting posted so as to prevent the grafting of nepotism on our administration and the forming of a "family compact" wherein secrecy is too well observed for the good of the country. We [DOT] find in the report of the Auditor General for 1918, vol. 3, page Y-9, the name of a lady, M. G. Goode; in the same report for 1919, vol. I, we find the name of M. Goode, that of L. Daley and W. J. Paynter; again in the same report for 1920, vol. I, chapter 8, we find the name of E. F. Bland, and in the report for 1921, we find the names of E. F. Bland, M. Daley and Paynter. Who are these persons? Mrs. M. G. Goode or M. Goode is the eldest daughter of Mr. WTm. For an, secretary of the commission; Mrs. L. Daley is the wife of the chief English examiner of the commission; Mrs. E. F. Bland is the wife of the assistant secretary of the commission, and W. J. Paynter or G. Paynter, is the wife of the chief accountant of the commission. Can any better family compact be found administering the affairs of the country, specially when it is a question of having salary increases granted? On May 9, 1922, I asked a number of questions in regard to certain persons of the commission, among other questions I asked if a person by the name of R. B. Veit was related to the secretary of the Civil Service Commission. I received the following answer:

No official information.

The secretary of the Civil Service Commission did not seem to recognize his brother-in-law.

I also asked if a Mr Bland was related to Mr. Farrow, of the Custom Department.

The answer was: "No official information." It is his son-in-law, he was unknown to him.

Now, let me tell you what these gentlemen have received: On April 1, 1918, Mr. Veit's salary was $1,550; on April 1, 1919, it was increased to $1,680; on April 1, 1920, increased to $1,800; on April 1,

1921, increased to $2,400 and on April 1,

1922, it reached $2,520. Moreover he received, I believe, as back pay $363.35. In regard to Mr. Bland, here is his salary: in 1918, he only drew his military salary; in 1919, $3,060; in 1920, $3,240; in 1921, $3,660 and in 1922, $3,840. In 1919-20, he drew as back pay $960; in 1920-21, $355, which makes a total of $1,315 as back pay. All this, as a result of the family compact of the secretary of the Civil Service Commission. I shall draw the attention of the Government, who at this moment, are requesting us to approve the estimates in regard to the Civil Service Commission, to the fact that these votes have been prepared by the men whose names appear in my statements, by the people who, without any scruple, recommended one another for back pay of salary and who agreed between themselves on scandalous increases. I might say that no where else is the old English saying better put into practice: "Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." For the honour of this House and that of the ministry, which were insulted by the false information given by the said employees,-independent, if you wish, of Parliament, but who nevertheless must come to the representatives of the people when it is a case of being paid,-I believe that before passing the present estimates of the Civil Service Commission we should use the power we have, and I suggest that Parliament should object, and, that we make these people wait a little. I mean those who perpetrated injustice in all the departments, who have everywhere violated equity and who laugh at the present Ministers of the Crown and representatives of the people. For my part, conscious of the mandate which my electors have given me, I demand once more the re-establishment of the principle of ministerial responsibility, a principle which is consigned to the back-ground by the acts of this commission. Before passing these estimates, I would ask the Government and the House to institute a parliamentary enquiry so as to discover the vultures that prey on the people's money, the parasites

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that devour our public treasury and to furnish us the means to destroy them. At a time when economy is preached over the whole world, we have no right to vote these items and I for one set my foot squarely against it. It is a duty incumbent on us to start this parliamentary enquiry and to stop the salaries and especially curtail the powers of this organization committee of the Civil Service Commission.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I am sure I shall be pardoned, Mr. Chairman, if for a few moments I take up the time of the committee, although the hour is late, in answering a few of the arguments made by certain hon. gentlemen sitting diagonally opposite to me.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Angularly opposite.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Angularly opposite, yes. It is remarkable, Sir, for one of my political experience to listen to-night to the innocent young member from Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) in his effort to impress upon us the fact that he had never recommended, during his brief political career, any one for appointment in the government service. Of course, that may be quite true, but you will remember, Sir, that in the next breath he told us that every Liberal member who had represented the constituency before him had been deluged with applications for positions and that his Liberal friends had always been appointed. It might be interesting if the hon. gentleman had told us why this change came over the constituency of Fort William and Rainy River immediately after he was elected; because the hon. member said that from that day henceforth there was no political appointments in that county, nor was he bothered by either his political friends or his political enemies. We had a sort of experience meeting on the part of my hon. friends who comprise the National Liberal and Conservative party; every minute or two they were jumping up here and there and denying assertions made by hon. gentlemen on this side. When the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) stated that after the election of 1911 wholesale dismissals were made in this country, these hon. members, one after the other, got up and denied that there had been any dismissals in their constituencies. It will go down in history, Sir, that when the Tory government came into power there

were in this country, in the rural districts, in the urban districts, even in the city of Ottawa-scattered all over the Dominion, there was a total number of some 14,000 officials. It is well known that practically the whole of these 14,000 were dismissed within a year after the Tories came into power, and in their place were put, not

14,000 Conservatives, though personally I would have no objection to their replacing the Liberals who had been dismissed with their political friends. But what did they do? They dismissed 14,000, and they appointed 26,000 to do the same work. Of course, everybody knows that the men who were dismissed must have been so superior to the ones appointed in their place that it took two of the new men to do one man's work. It is a well known fact that these dismissals were wholesale in character. In the county of Guysborough, in the province of Nova Scotia, a letter came one day to the postmaster in one of the country districts telling him he had been dismissed from his office and that another person had been appointed in hi3 stead. He read the letter and said to himself, "I do not know anybody of that name around here." So he consulted his wife, and they held a council of war and called in the neighbours. The postmaster, of course, from his position, knew everybody in the district, but neither he nor his wife nor any of the neighbours could remember any person by that name. At last the lady of the house had a very bright idea. "I do remember a man of that name," she said "who died about nine years ago." The postmaster, who was a bit of a wag, said, "Well then, the best thing we can do is to gather up the stamps and the rest of the paraphernalia, bundle it up and take it out to the graveyard and leave the bundle on his grave," and they did that. That is the way the Tories dismissed officials in 1912. The hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River said that there were no dismissals in his section of the country by the Tory government, and the hon. member for South Simcoe also said the same thing with respect to his riding. Why Mr. Chairman, I hold in my hand Hansard of session of 1912-1913, and if you will turn to page XIV of the index you will find five columns referring to questions put on the Order Paper that session by members of Parliament with regard to dismissals by the Tory government. Yet they say they did not dismiss anybody. Here are five whole columns, I presume about three or four hundred ques-

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tions relating to dismissals by the Tory government, and that would be only a very small proportion of the total number of dismissals.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Militia and Defence; Minister of the Naval Service)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

That is only one volume.

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June 16, 1922