In this case I am pleased to inform the committee that there is a decrease. In the salaries there is a decrease of $4,680 and in contingencies there is a slight increase of $2,000, making a net decrease of $2,680.
I should like to say a few words with regard to a certain matter that came to my notice when visiting London a year ago. While in London I took the opportunity of visiting both Canada House and the Australian building. I take it that we have this house in London to advertise Canada's business and Canada's wares as well as to encourage people to come to this country. Although I found Canada House an inviting place for Canadian visitors, very nicely equipped with rest rooms and writing rooms and attractive from the social point of view, at the same time, as compared with the house maintained by Australia in London, Canada
Supply-High Commissioner's Office
House seems to take second place. For instance, with regard to interesting people in Canada from an immigrant point of view- and when I say immigrant I take it to mean all classes of people who are coming to make their homes in Canada-I found there was nothing to draw attention to Canada except certain literature such as would be found in the office of any immigration agent. This might go to their houses through the mails just as well as by being put on a file at Canada House. Comparing Canada House with Australia House in London I find1 this difference, that in Australia House there is placed before the visitor a miniature picture of Australia. No doubt the Prime Minister himself has seen this as well as myself and indeed most members who have gone to London have taken the opportunity of visiting both these places. Not only do you find in Australia House an advertisement of their great mineral possibilities, agricultural resources and orchard production, but you have, as I say, a miniature picture before you of every state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Along with that you have of course literature similar to that which we have in Canada House. It seems to me that if we took a leaf out of Australia's book we might do a great, deal more with the money we are spending in London on Canada House. I found the High Commissioner doing his best to give visiting Canadians in London every opportunity to enjoy the social life of the city, and that sort of thing, which is all very nice, but I take it that the main object of Canada House is not only to interest business generally in Canadian affairs, but to interest people Who are thinking of emigrating, in the hope that they may find, in what they see at Canada House, sufficient inducement to cause them to make up their minds to come to Canada. I just throw out this suggestion because I think it is very essential from the Canadian point of view, in order to get returns from what we are spending in London, that we should change our method of advertising Canada in England.
I may say to my hon. friend, with reference to the contrast he points out between Australia House and Canada House, that there is a distinct difference between the manner in which Australia and Canada respectively carry out some of their services, for example, the work of immigration. All the immigration work of Australia is centered in London. The policy of Canada has been to have immigration offices scattered throughout the British Isles, in England, Scotland and Ireland. We have altoget.her some twenty-five immigration offices scattered through the British Isles, while with the exception of London there are none so far as Australia is concerned, their whole work being centered in the Australian building. That, I think, accounts in large degree for the difference in the advertising of Canada at the Canadian building to which my hon. friend has made reference. One going into the Australian building does see, as my hon. friend has pointed out, much that is representative of the different states in Australia. I question however, whether as many people who are thinking of emigrating to any of the British dominions would team of Canada through one office in London as learn of Canada through the different offices scattered throughout the British Isles.
I am well aware of the fact that we have various offices scattered throughout Great Britain, but at the same time we must remember that there are more people in the city of London than there are in the whole of Canada, and at very little expense, if any, I think we could do still more valuable advertising through making certain changes at Canada House.
this further woa-d. Through a committee of council, of which the Minister of Trade and Commerce is the chairman, there have been some steps taken recently to further publicity in the British Isles with the object of meeting the very point to which my hon. friend has just referred.
I also visited Canada House last year, and I was struck by the paucity of Canadians in Canada House. One would have supposed that if anywhere in Britain one would find Canadians, it would be there. This session I asked a question-I have not it before me -now-as to the number of employees in Canada House who had either been born in Canada or had spent five years in this country, on the idea that if they had spent five -years in Canada they would rank as Canadians or have a knowledge of conditions in part at least of Canada. I figured the answer out to mean that only eleven per cent of the employees of Canada House were Canadians in this sense. I think in an institution presumably devoted entirely to the advertising of Canada and the getting of immigrants for Canada, it would be advisable if more Canadians were employed, even though it would cost a little more to 6end them over from here. I think they would be more likely to fill the objects for which the employees are there.
What my hon. friend says may be quite true, but it is also true that at the present time there is a larger percentage of Canadians employed at Canada House tihan there has been at any time since the office was opened. All of the higher positions are held by Canadians. Some of the typists' positions and some of the other positions are filled by persons who are residents of England and are not Canadian born, but the policy of the government in the matter is more and more to fill the existing positions with Canadians.
Hyde is retained to deal more particularly with the important financial transactions with which the office is concerned. He has an expert knowledge of financial affairs and has been retained by the High Commissioner to deal with these matters. He is not on the permanent staff of the office, but his services have been found extremely valuable.
My hon. friend will recall that after the war there were a great many outstanding accounts due Canada, some of them matters of adjustment between the British treasury and our treasury. There were also the loans that had been made to Greece and Roumania, and there were numerous other important financial transactions which had not been finally adjusted. My hon. friend will agree with me that in the office as it was constituted at the time he was high commissioner, if he had had to rely exclusively upon the staff then there, he would have found it difficult to deal satisfactorily on behalf of Canada with these important transactions. When Mr. Larkin was appointed high commissioner, one of the first steps he took was to endeavour to settle these transactions and to obtain payment of the advances and loans that were made by Canada during the war period. He retained Colonel Reid Hyde for the purpose of assisting him, Colonel Hyde being an expert chartered accountant and a Canadian then residing in London in whose ability Mr. Larkin had entire confidence. Colonel Reid Hyde performed his services most satisfactorily. Under the direction of the high commissioner he discussed with the British treasury and with others the details of the outstanding accounts with the result that very large sums have been paid to the Canadian treasury in the short time that Mr. Larkin has been High Commissioner in London. I might mention, as an example, the Roumanian and Greek loans. The government of hon. gentlemen opposite advanced, I think, to Greece and Roumania something like $25,000,000 each, to enable
Supply*-High Commissioner's Office
them to purchase Canadian commodities of different kinds. The commodities were purchased, but we have been unable to get payment although our own money was advanced for the purpose of the purchase. Apparently up to the present there has been very little chance of getting payment of the principal; but by the co-operation of Colonel Reid Hyde under direction of the high commissioner we have at least succeeded in making an arrangement whereby interest will be secured to Canada until the whole of the principal is paid. Up to the present time I understand that about $9,000,000 has been paid into the treasury. That is a large sum, considering that it represents interest alone.
A gentleman of the technical and professional qualifications which Colonel Reid Hyde possesses is almost essential to the High Commissioner's office for dealing with matters of this kind. I might say that the question of appointing him as a permanent official, in view of his knowledge of the financial matters with which the High Commissioner's office is concerned, has been under consideration, and at a subsequent session the government may ask parliament to approve of the appointment of a financial comptroller-because that is really what the position required is -for the office of the High Commissioner. Mr. Pacaud's name has been mentioned. Mr. Pacaud is the head of the office under the high commissioner. But his duties do not relate primarily to financial affairs, and I think m}' hon. friend from his experience as High Commissioner would feel that it was in every way advisable for Canada to have on the staff some expert accountant who would give his whole time to these very important financial matters.
The Prime Minister seems to give all the credit to Colonel Reid Hyde for collecting money from Greece and Roumania. I wonder if Mr. Larkin, our High Commissioner, is not entitled to some of that credit? It seems to me he must be. "
careful to say that Colonel Reid Hyde had acted in consultation with and under the direction of the High Commissioner. Unquestionably the credit is primarily due to Mr. Larkin, whose great financial ability is recognized not only in this country but throughout the world. However, as my hon. friend knows, in transactions of this kind a high commissioner would wish to have associated with him someone who is able to render professional services of an expert character and
who could attend to details. I have just been looking over the class of professional services rendered. They relate to the adjustment of accounts with the treasury, with the admiralty, with the board of trade, to conferences regarding Canada's share of reparations under the Dawes plan, to the adjustment of the Greek and Roumanian loans, and so on. These are all financial transactions and, as my hon. friend has said, we are fortunate in having as High Commissioner a gentleman of such great experience in financial matters as Hon. Mr. Larkin. Under his direction the office has been able in this short time to secure for Canada the payments to which I have referred.
I thank my hon. friend. Apparently he is suffering from a little personal pique this afternoon. Then I was informed that Mr. Pacaud was at lunch and could not see me. Next day he wrote me a very nice letter apologizing for the delay occasioned me and asking if I would call again. Unfortunately I did not get an opportunity of doing so. While I was there a gentleman came bustling in and everything was on the jump at once. Here wtas Colonel Reid Hyde, with all the gold-braided flunkeys of the Canada House, touching their caps and bowing and scraping to Colonel Reid Hyde. Colonel Reid Hyde has been attached to the High Commissioner's office in a wholly unnecessary capacity. He might have done some of these minor jobs .for the High Commissioner, but as the Prime Minister has said, it wias the High Commissioner's duty-and undoubtedly he did it-to carry out the major negotiations in connection with this settlement. I should be sorry indeed to think that he had done otherwise. But to suggest that Colonel Reid Hyde was a necessary instrument in carrying it out is going pretty far. Personally I do not think his presence at Canada House is any help to Canada. It would be a great deal better for Canada if Canada House were turned into an office where Canadians could go and get the information they desired, and where those who are in London seeking information about this dominion might obtain that information in a reasonable and straightforward manner, which is not the case at the present time.
Item agreed to.
To provide for representation at Washington, including salaries and allowances for minister plenipotentiary, secretaries and staff, notwith-
standing anything to the contrary in the Civil Service Act or any of its amendments, $100,000.
William Lyon Mackenzie King
(Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)
I might remind the committee that last year when I asked the house to appropriate $130,000 for the legation ait Washington I stated that if we were placed in a position to purchase a building it would be possible to reduce that estimate by at least $25,000 when I next came to parliament for an appropriation. I am pleased to direct the attention of the committee to the fact that that promise has been implemented and thait this year the appropriation for the legation at Washington is $30,000 less than the amount asked for last year. The difference is to be accounted for by the fact that Canada owns its building in Washington and there are no rentals to be paid.