March 18, 1926

CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

That is some qualification.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

True; that is exactly what I have said. For a great many positions you cannot get a better appointing authority than the Civil Service Commission. But I say there are some positions of a peculiar nature requiring certain qualifications which cannot be established by a man's .examination paper, that cannot even be manifested by his appearance, yet these positions the Civil Service Commission are called upon to fill. Let me give an example. There is no man in this country prouder of a certain branch of the government service than the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), sitting beside me. I think every member, be he Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, Labour or Independent, shares his pride in the achievements and reputation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In .the customs 5 p.m. inquiry and elsewhere it has been said, "Oh, why don't you assign this work to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?" And in every case where that branch has been placed in charge of any particular

work which came within their jurisdiction it has been done excellently. Now, I ask hon. members on the other side this question-and excuse me, Mr. Chairman, if I put it direct- Will any one rise in his place and say that appointments to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should be made by the Civil Service Commission?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Why confine your question to this side of the House?

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

I regret the mistaken expression. I meant to address it to the entire House.

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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Mr. Chairman, is a semi-military body and is entirely under the jurisdiction of its officers. It is so in the Old Country in connection with the police, or with any similar semi-military body. Therefore that illustration does not at all come fairly within the purview of the minister's answer.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

Perhaps my hon. friend did not hear the preliminary part of my remarks.

I did not say to the Civil Service Commission, "Hands off the Customs department." I agree that the commission should continue to make a large number of the appointments- appointments of customs collectors, appointments of customs officers here at Ottawa, appointments of appraisers, and so on. I am now referring to the new preventive service, and I think it should be a semi-military or semi-police service. I say that that service cannot be satisfactorily appointed by the Civil Service Commission. I hope the committee and the House will not decide otherwise. I will not however determine any definite plan of action until I have received the report of the committee. It will render effective service to the country if it only determines where some of the smuggling takes place at the present time and reports to the House ways and means of organizing an efficient preventive service to stop that smuggling. If it can do this it will do better than any special committee that has been appointed by this parliament for many years.

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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

Does the minister mean that on the other hand these appointments should be made by the department?

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

No. I said in my opening remarks that I was equally opposed to direct appointment by the minister on the recommendation of the local patronage committee.

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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

Of course, the Royal

Canadian Mounted Police are appointed after examination.

Supply-Customs

j.^78

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

But not by the Civil Service Commission. They are appointed after examination by the officers in control and who place each probationer under observance.

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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

Certainly.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

In other words, they judge their appearance, ability, honesty and integrity.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Is not that a kind of examination?

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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

It is merely a qualifying examination. It does not necessarily carry promotion with it.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

I should like to know where examinations do carry. They did not cariy in connection with the Kingsville appointment. Is the minister aware that all papers and information submitted to him by the department in connection with the dismissal of Mr. C. R. McCallum and the appointment of A.

D. Pearsall, were issued even before Mr. Mc-Callum's appointment was made? I am impressed by the minister's desire to be fair. He said in the House some time ago that when charges were instituted against any civil servant, the procedure followed was first to suspend the man charged, and then to investigate the charges; if found guilty he would be dismissed, and if found innocent he would be reinstated. Now, I ask the minister, although this appointment did not occur during his term of office, to go back and correct mistakes where it is possible to correct them. As I have said, none of the information I requested yesterday has been supplied. The examination took place on May 29, and Mr. McCallum passed with a high percentage of marks. He had a fine reputation locally, where he was well known, and an equally fine record while on overseas service. Yet under date of June 10, 1925, I find a letter addressed to G. Graham, Esq., Assistant Inspector of Customs and Excise, Ottawa. I may use this correspondence?

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

Certainly.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

The letter reads:

I have the honour to state that the department has deemed it advisable to review the recent examination of applicants for the position of sub-collector at the outport of Kingsville.

Very remarkable that on June 10 the department should deem it necessary to review an examination that took place on May 29!

I ask the minister what happened in the meantime that the department considered it necessary that this examination should be reviewed. I might state that the person by

whom it was reviewed was a very outstanding Liberal, and the only thing in connection with the appointment that had not the appearance of political control was the examination and the marks obtained thereon. The next communication is from Mr. Graham, assistant inspector of customs and excise, under date of June 15, 1925:

In this connection I conferred with Mr. A. W. Massey, Ithe .principal of the high school at Kingsville. Ontario-

Mr. Massey, I might say, is an outstanding Liberal:

-and in the case of Mr. C. It. McCallum, I am obliged to state that this party, while of good ability, has been guilty in time past of a rather serious offence. It appears that while employed by (the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Company at Kingsville, Ontario, this party divulged certain confidential information entrusted to him, with the result that he was discharged by the telegraph company.

Mr. -Massey declined to make any change in the ratings already submitted by himself and Mr. McGuire at the previous examination.

Next I submit a letter to Mr. L. J. Lafferty, Windsor, from G. R. Kerby, chief inspector of the Canadian Pacific Railway, under date of August 15, 1925:

Dear Sir,-Further to my letter of recent date in connection with former agent C. R. McCallum.

Kindly be advised that Mr. McCallum was not discharged from the service but resigned on his own free will, not wishing to assume further responsibility as he was not acquainted with the wire work.

Under the circumstances consider he acted very wisely as our system is quite complicated which made him dependent for information from his operator.

Yours truly,

G. R. Kerby,

Inspector.

As Mr. Graham, the assistant inspector of customs and excise, points out in his letter of June 15, 1925:

Mr. Massey declined to make any change in the ratings already submitted by himself and Mr. McGuire at the previous examination.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Who came out at the head of that examination?

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Mr. McCallum stood far above all the others who tried the examination. The next letter is under date of June 15, 1925:

I have the honour to state that I am this date in receipt of a report from Mr. G. Graham, Assistant Inspector of Customs and Excise, relative to the rating of the candidates who recently made application for the position of collector of customs and excise at the outport of Kingsville, Ontario.

The assistant inspector's report, which is attached herewith, indicates that while Mr. C. R. McCallum is a party of good ability, he has in time past been guilty of having committed a serious breach of trust in that he divulged secret and private information while in the employ of the Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph at Kingsville, Ontario, and also is a party whose disposition is such that he ds not likely to get along very well with the public in the discharge of his duties were he appointed to the position.

Sup pi y-C ustoms

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?

Mr. BO IVIN@

Just to have the file complete in Hansard, would my hon. friend be good enough to give the name of the person by whom that letter is signed. Would he read any other paragraph and the signature?

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March 18, 1926