July 3, 1931

LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

At page 1300 of Hansard of May 6, the hon. minister, in answer to a question of mine, said that in the surveys bureau there has been ninety-one retirements of the permanent staff at Ottawa, and that subsequently six more had been retired. At this date how many have received notices of retirement from the topographical survey?

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LIB
LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

In the answer to which I have referred of May 6, the minister stated that in the surveys bureau ninety-one of the permanent staff at Ottawa had been retired and twenty-five of the non-permanent. That, does not make very much difference, but I should like to know how many of the permanent staff in Ottawa of the topographical surveys have been retired to this date.

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LIB
LIB
LIB
LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

I believe the topographical survey is one of the most important

branches of our surveys, and it has been my privilege on a number of occasions to meet the men engaged in that work. Probably some members derive pleasure from reading novels, but I derive pleasure from reading maps, and I must pay a particular compliment to the various map services of the federal government. To my mind the topographical survey is one of the services that should never have been interfered with.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Carried.

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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

My hon. friend will not get a bit further by trying to help the minister in that way. Anyone who has not an intelligent suggestion to make should keep quiet. I do not believe that this appropriation is sufficient to carry on the work of the topographical surveys in an efficient manner during the present fiscal year. It seems to me that any saving that may be made in this branch and in the geodetic and geologic branches will be more than offset by the extra cost which will be involved in resuming the work at the point where it has been left off, to say nothing of the mental anguish and suffering of those who have been so ruthlessly let out. I do believe that the minister would have been well advised in the national interest to have retained the staff at its full strength and so have preserved the efficiency of the service. Will the eighty-se\ en positions vacated in the topographical service be left vacant or will they be abolished?

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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

The eighty-seven retirements related to positions which were formerly filled, some by surveyors and others by those doing clerical work. It is not correct to say that eighty-seven surveyors were let out of that branch; eighty-seven employees were let out. The hon. member expresses concern that owing to these retirements the branch will not be efficiently carried on, but just a moment before he had expressed confidence in the officials. I may say that I have the same confidence in them, and I can assure the hon. member that the work in that branch will continue to be efficiently performed. It may be that in certain lines they will not be as active as they were in other years, but I feel confident that the efficiency of the branch will be maintained during the present fiscal year.

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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The minister will recall that on a former occasion I asked him what branches were affected by the transfer of the natural resources to the western provinces, and what number of employees were affected.

Supply-Interior-Surveys

According to his answer of the 6th of May to which I have already referred, the survey bureau was one of the branches not affected by that transfer. Why were the eighty-seven retired? And when will the activities of this branch be resumed?

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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

The work of the surveys

bureau, sometimes known as the international boundaries surveys branch of the department, as such of course was not affected by the transfer of the resources, 'but again this branch was considered part of the Department of the Interior and some clerical positions were affected. They had to take their chances along with the rest of the employees of the department.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The minister told the hon. member for Ottawa that there were 111 employees retained on this staff, but he told me there were 118 retained. I can quite understand how that difference might have arisen, but the question I wanted to ask was .this: Has the survey and readjustment of the department as far as the staff is concerned been completed? Has it been decided finally in what way the staff shall be re-adjusted, or is that survey still going on?

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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

No, it could not be said

that it has been completed; that is the case to a great extent, but there is still some reorganization and reclassification of positions which will be carried on by the Civil Service Commission.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

But as far

as the number of employees is concerned there is not likely to be very much of a change?

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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

That might be taken

practically as correct, although I would not say so definitely.

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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Does that answer apply to the whole department or only to this branch?

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LIB
CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

In connection with the return of the natural resources to the western provinces a case has been brought to my attention disclosing a condition which does not seem fair or reasonable. It is the case of a man who for the last thirty-five years had been working under the Department of the Interior in western Canada. When the natural resources were handed over to the provinces this man was retired. He will receive his full salary for the next six months, and

after that, for the rest of his natural life he will receive approximately seven-tenths of his salary. In the meantime, however, this man has been taken over by the province; he is working at the very same job and getting the very same pay.

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An hon. MEMBER:

WThat is his name?

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July 3, 1931