March 6, 1925

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I dlo not imagine that in the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's operations, for instance, more men are doing the same work to-day than were employed in 1911.

Topic:   SUPPLY PUBLIC WORKS
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PRO
CON
PRO
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

At any rate, I would point out that there is throughout the whole of this country a demand, and I think a just one, that we should cut down not only the expense of government but the national expenses generally, Dominion, provincial and municipal. There is a way of cutting down our civil service expenditure; perhaps it was suggested when I was out of the room. I do not believe we should go out into the different departments, and slash here, there and everywhere, put men out of work and increase the unemployment which unfortunately is worse at this time, to my mind, than it ever was in the country before. I am not blaming on the present government, the overloading of the civil service as it prevails in very many of the departments; all past governments permitted the civil service to be built up to a greater extent than it should have been. We cut down the number of employees in the Printing Bureau with good effect and there is no doubt that all the departments, or most of them, could be cut down with resulting improvement to the service and saving to the country.

Topic:   SUPPLY PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

How did the government cut down in 1911 when 11,060 Liberals who were dismissed were replaced by 33,000 Conservatives?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not know that that is the fact, and I shall not be able to discuss it, for that reason. I am not admitting that we did any such thing.

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Probably I would have agreed with my hon. friend in 1910-11 about that, if it occurred. I do not like to keep repeating to my hon. friend that I am getting wiser as I get older. My suggestion is that when a man retires, dies or otherwise leaves the sendee, let the positions remain as they are or fill them by transfer from some other department.

Supply-Public Works

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PRO
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Well, I do not. I hope it is, but I cannot see it in any of the figures. The Postmaster General announced the other day that he had put in a lot of machines to cut down labour, but the fact is that the number of employees in his department has been increased. Certainly ,1 should think there were more than four superannuations or deaths in the Department of Public Works last year. The hon. member (Mr. Stevens) tells .me there were 12, so that the plan I suggest has not been carried out. We certainly could cut down the civil service gradually and work hardship to no one if we adopted this plan of filling vacancies by transfer from the same department or from other departments, and it might then be possible to establish the civil service upon something reasonably like the basis of strength of a private corporation. The minister says that is being done. Well, I hope a real attempt is being made to do it; at any rate, I think there should be a greater attempt than is shown in most of the departments. I admit that the minister's department shows a decrease, but in most of the other departments there appears to be an increase.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Not in mine.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Oh 'well, we could hardly expect an increase in his. But we will attend to the Minister of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment in a few days.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

I hope the hon. member will commend me for reducing my staff.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I hope there will be something upon which we can commend my hon. friend. I repeat that we should make a greater effort than is being made at the present time-and I say it in all sincerity- to cut down the expenses of government and in that way to reduce the very high taxation we have in this country.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

That the Civil Service Commission has failed to gain the confidence of the people of the country has been due, I think, to other reasons than their inefficiency. It was noticeable at the first session of this parliament I attended that the Civil Service Commission were getting no sympathy or co-operation from the heads of government, not even from the deputy ministers. Indeed, I have known that from divisional heads the Civil Service Commission has met with opposition in carrying out its wishes. Now this is not as it should be. The hon. member for West Toronto has said that the

Civil Service Commission has no way of finding out an applicant's integrity or his standing in his own community. I can very well remember conditions as they were when the old patronage system was in full swing, and I can assure the hon. member that at that time men were placed in most responsible offices whose integrity to say the least was very questionable.

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PRO
LIB
PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

Often it is not the member

of parliament that makes the appointment. Can anyone say that I have the patronage in my constituency?

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LIB

Lewis Johnstone Lovett

Liberal

Mr. LOVETT:

Did the member of parliament who appointed them win his election?

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March 6, 1925