April 7, 1930

PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 54, to incorporate Pine Hill Divinity Hall.-Mr. Black (Halifax). Bill No. 55, to authorize the Niagara Parks Commission to erect, construct, acquire, maintain and operate a bridge across the Niagara river.-Mr. Chaplin.


PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT


Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure) moved that the recommendations contained in the first report of the joint committee of both houses on the printing of parliament, presented to the house on the third instant, be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


DEBATES COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT


Mr. E. J. YOUNG (Weyburn) moved that the first report of the select standing committee on debates be concurred in.


UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

Explain.

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Weyburn):

This report deals with the salaries and organization of the Hansard reporting staff. It appears that the application of the Hansard reporters to the Beatty commission was for some reason or other overlooked, and they were not included in the report of the commission. The work of the Hansard reporter is not that of any ordinary stenographer. He must be an expert reporter, capable of reporting persons whose diction and manner of speaking are altogether unfamiliar to him, at a rate of 250 words or

Debates Committee

more per minute. He must catch every interruption and note exactly where it comes from, and that without in any way interfering with the taking down of the speech he is reporting. He must also be able to spell the words that we mispronounce, to reconstruct the sentences that we do not construct correctly, to quote correctly the quotations that we misquote, to put sense into the sentences whose meaning we, speaking in haste, do not always make clear. He is also required to edit and make readable the speeches he reports. He must have a wide knowledge of literature and be familiar with a very wide range of subjects. It is true that he works only six months in the year, but he is disqualified by that very fact from taking any other permanent position. There was a time when Hansard reporters could be recruited from the press gallery. That was when the newspapermen took verbatim reports of the speeches delivered in the house. But that day has passed, and the staff can no longer be recruited from that source. Experienced reporters are very very rare, and great difficulty has been found in keeping the staff up to strength. Reporters with the qualifications of a Hansard man are drawing outside the civil service as much as $6,000 a year. There is a vacancy on the staff at present, which it has been found very difficult to fill. For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, the committee has considered favourably the request of the Hansard reporters, and we respectfully submit that the salaries be revised according to the schedules given in the report. We are also asking that authority be given to increase the staff, and that recommendations be made to the Civil Service Commission so that when new appointments are requested during the session they can be made within a few days, instead of within a few months as is now the case.

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. H. E. SPENCER (Battle River):

I

would like to refer to paragraph (c) of the committee's report, reading as follows:

(c) That the Editor of English Debates and the officer occupying the joint positions of the Editor of French Debates and Parliamentary Reporter be placed in the same class and paid the same remuneration.

I would ask if it is not true that about 90 to 95 per cent of the debates of this house are carried on in English, and if the work of the editor of the English debates is not very much heavier. Why, then, should the editor of the English debates and the editor of the French debates be on the same basis?

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure):

As a member of the debates committee, I might say that the editor of the French debates of this house fills at the same time the position of a reporter of the proceedings, which the editor of the English debates does not. As both languages are on an equal footing in this house, I think my hon. friend should be thankful that more French is not spoken in the debates, because the sessions would then be very much longer.

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. A. A. HEAPS (North Winnipeg):

I

have no objection to the members of the Hansard staff receiving all that they are entitled to. If they are entitled to an increase to a minimum of $3,420, as recommended by the debates committee, I have no objection to that. The only comment I wish to make on that is this: I note with what ease it is

possible to give to the higher paid officials working for the government an increase in their salary. Last year the house took considerable time discussing the wages of men who are receiving about eighty or ninety dollars per month. We found it impossible at that time to get any recommendation for an increase in the salaries of these low-paid men, and they are still receiving the same wages that they received last year. In increasing the pay of men or women in the employ of the government, I think we should begin at the bottom instead of at the top, and give the lower paid men at least the minimum salary which they demanded last year of $100 a month.

I understood that when the Beatty report came before parliament, we would have some opportunity of discussing its recommendations as a whole, and not piecemeal in this way. If recommendations are to come from the different committees of the house, it will be almost impossible for us to be given an opportunity of discussing the Beatty report as a whole; we may have to discuss it on half a dozen different occasions. I should like to know, Mr. Speaker, if it is the intention of the government to give the house an opportunity of discussing the report of the Beatty commission, so that I along with others who have an interest in the lower paid men may be enabled to present our views in support of a minimum salary of $100 per month.

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. JEAN FRANCOIS POULIOT (Tem-iscouata):

Mr. Speaker, I do not propose to

answer the questions put by my hon. friend who has just taken his seat (Mr. Heaps).. But may I say that I am always impressed with the speeches of the hon. member for North Winnipeg, and if I cannot be present in the house to hear those speeches I give myself the pleasure of reading the excellent reports in Hansard1. I think my hon. friend is per-

Debates Committee

fectly right in desiring to increase the salaries of the low salaried men and women in the service, and he has my hearty support, for I am a labour man in spirit, but their position will be in no way prejudiced by our taking measures to ensure that the present high standard of the reporting staff of this house is maintained. I think nothing too good can be said of the work of the present staff. As the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) very ably pointed out, I think our English speaking friends should be glad to see us French Canadians expressing our views in a tongue other than our own in order that we may be more generally understood. I have noticed1 on several occasions that many of our English-speaking friends do not always understand speeches delivered in French, and that is the one reason why I and other members on this side address the house in English. Nevertheless we use our mother tongue in the debates, and I think every opportunity should be afforded to have those speeches properly reported in both languages in the future as in the past.

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. E. J. GARLAND (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member (Mr. Pouliot) who has just taken his seat and many of his colleagues on their extraordinary ability to speak so fluently and so eloquently in English. I envy them that ability and would I were in the same position with regard to French as they are with respect to English. But that, I take it, does not concern us particularly in considering this report. I object to it, Mr. Speaker, on, two grounds: First,

that it is mandatory; and secondly, that it is an amendment to the report of the Beatty commission. This house has not yet had an opportunity of considering that report, and until we have had, I think amendments of this character should not be allowed to slip through in this way. I protest against what is virtually an amendment to the Beatty report; and I object to the sentence:

and that steps be taken by the Civil Service Commission to give effect to this recommendation.

being acted on until after we have fully considered the whole report.

Topic:   DEBATES COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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DOMINION FOREST RESERVES AND PARKS ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Minister of the Interior) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 56, to amend Dominion Forest Reserves and Parks Act. He said: Mr. Speaker, this is the usual bill that we introduce every year for the withdrawal from the forest reserves, after examination by our officers, of lands that are considered fit for agricultural purposes. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE

April 7, 1930