May 24, 1932

CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

In my view, the motion just passed makes the next order of business the orders of the day. Out of deference to the leader of the opposition and the Prime Minister, I made no objection while they were both on their feet. A few minutes ago the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan) would have spoken, but I stopped him and I think the next proceeding of the house is to read the orders of the day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):

It was quite unwittingly

that I overstepped the rule, but I thank Your Honour and the hon. Minister of Finance for not having raised an objection, and for according me the privilege of bringing up the matter which, of course, might as well have been brought up when the radio broadcasting bill is further considered in committee as will I expect be the case a little later in the day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
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Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State) moved the third reading of Bill No. 99, to amend the Civil Service Act.


LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. E. J. YOUNG (Weyburn):

I move in amendment that the house do now revert to motions.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

That is out of order.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

If I may rise to a point

of order, obviously the motion of the hon. member for Weyburn is out of order; it is a negative of a motion which was decided by the house by vote just a moment ago.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

There have been two orders of the day since then.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Hon. PETER HEENAN (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

We have no idea

of what business is being transacted.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

With respect to the third

reading of Bill No. 99, I desire to make just a few observations, because yesterday I attempted to get some information from the minister in charge of the measure and unfortunately we were not able before lunch to proceed with the bill in committee. Yesterday, while the bill was in committee, I endeavoured to ascertain the procedure that is

Civil Service Act

to be followed in connection with the appointments of postmasters to positions in offices that have a revenue of less than S3,000- I am not opposing the bill but what I wanted to be sure of at that time was that the preference for returned soldiers would be continued as it was prior to this enactment, and the reason I rise at this time is because the returned soldier preference in the constituency that I have the honour to represent is being entirely overlooked.

In 1920, a resolution passed the Ontario legislature unanimously, in effect, that in all cases returned soldiers were to get the preference in appointments to permanent positions within the jurisdiction of the government of Ontario. Only recently a sheriff has been appointed in Kenora by the Ontario government, and the occupant, while a very good citizen in every way, is not a returned soldier. I have received many letters from returned men in my district telling me that they had no knowledge whatever that that position was about to be filled, and further that it was filled on the recommendation of the executive of the Conservative association for the district. There were two other appointments. The office of registrar for the district was vacated twice, and while the position was filled in both cases by very good citizens the returned soldiers in the district did not get an opportunity of appointment to those two vacancies. Again only recently, about a month ago, the mayor of Kenora was appointed to a provincial government position, and he is not a returned soldier. Those positions were filled upon the recommendation of the executive of the Conservative association for that district. What [ wanted to say to the minister was this: If :ederal government positions are going to be filled in the same way, I think the minister will agree that I have reason to look askance at the protection that is afforded to the returned soldier in the matter of preference in appointments. How are the returned soldiers in that large district going to know where to apply? Are they to apply to the Postmaster General, to the member for the district or to the Conservative executive, and even if they know where to apply, what guarantee is there that the returned soldier preference will be maintained in appointments to these positions?

That is the only observation that I have to make, Mr. Speaker, and I am sorry that the bill was reported out of committee before I was given an opportunity of ascertaining beyond the shadow of a doubt that the returned soldiers in that district, and it is the only district that I have the right to speak for,

would get a square deal in federal government appointments.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

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

I am opposed to the third reading of this bill, Mr. Speaker, because of two clauses that it contains. One of them I referred to when the discussion on the resolution was before the house, and at that time Your Honour will recollect that I moved to delete the clause referring to the exemption of revenue post offices up to $3,000. When the bill was before the house yesterday I disagreed with the administration in the amendment which was proposed by the Minister of Finance to modify section 11. It is not my intention at this time to prolong the debate unnecessarily. I simply wish to move, therefore:

That Bill No. 99, an Act to amend the Civil Service Act be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee of the whole for the purpose of amending it by striking out section 10-and by striking out section 11, substituting for section 11 the wording of the section as contained in the first reading of the bill.

May I explain that section 10 is the one referring to the exemption of post offices with revenues -up to $3,000. Under the first reading of the bill hon. members will recall that section 11 carried out the unanimous desire of the committee, the unanimous desire of every civil service organization which appeared before that committee, and the desire of many other people. As it stood at the first reading of the bill section 11 took away from private secretaries to ministers the special privilege which had been accorded to them under the amendment to the act moved some years previously. My motion is therefore to restore section 11 as originally drafted in the amendment this year, and I sincerely trust that the house will see that the merit system, to the extent at least of the improper changes being made to this bill- and I use the word "improper" advisedly- be not interfered with.

Mr. E. R. E. CHEVRIF.R (Ottawa): Mr. Speaker, I shall have to vote for the motion now before the house so that the bill may be referred back to the committee. I will so vote in the hope that before the committee the section dealing with private secretaries may be brought back to its previous form, and at the same time in the hope that the committee will not alter the section with reference to postmasters as recommended by the special committee.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, I find myself in somewhat the same position in regard to my vote as the hon. member for

Civil Service Act

Ottawa. I should like the matter to be referred to the committee, however, in the hope that section 10 may be eliminated from the bill, and that the amendment to section 11 as introduced to the house yesterday may be confirmed. When section 10 was under discussion in committee I expressed my sentiments in regard to the purpose of that section. I should like to repeat my views however in regard to statements made yesterday concerning the possibility of retaining returned soldiers' preference. I think the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Heenan) has given a good illustration of how matters have worked out. We have seen how a similar pious wish has worked out in regard to appointments made by the legislature of Ontario. I am quite satisfied that no matter what regulations are framed, when it comes to actual operations the matter of returned soldiers' preference will work out in the present instance as it worked out in the province of Ontario, as described by the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

Mr. Speaker, I am exactly in the same position as my hon. friend from Lisgar. I cannot support the motion because I am opposed to deleting from the bill the amendment carried yesterday.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The same here.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Question.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Hon. PETER HEENAN (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the minister in charge of the bill would take this opportunity to make a statement. He did not speak before, because already he had moved third reading. I do not wish to repeat my statements of yesterdaj' with regard to the assurance which should be given to returned soldiers, but as the house seems to be quieter than it was when I spoke previously I should like to repeat a few statements. May I point out that in the year 1920 a resolution was passed unanimously by the Ontario legislature to the effect that returned soldiers would receive the preference in all permanent positions. In the riding I have the honour to represent they are not getting it. I should like to pass over to the minister a letter which will indicate what is going on. I do not wish to make it public because in my opinion the condition it discloses is a disgrace. This letter from the Canadian Legion at Fort Frances indicates *what is going on. I am not blaming the government, because I feel sure neither the Prime Minister nor any other member of the government would tolerate what is happening among the ranks of their own followers. I should 41761-209J

like to pass this letter over to the minister so hat he may have an opportunity of reading it; it is not my desire to make it public at this moment, because the matter is altogether :oo disgraceful. I am convinced when the minister sees what is contained in it he will realize why I have taken this position. The resolution passed by the Ontario legislature was unanimous; and I regard it as an order of the house. Notwithstanding that fact the returned soldiers are not receiving preference in that district. It may be that in the town of Kenora the members of the legion are satisfied-I doubt it-but hon. members must bear in mind that the district of Kenora is very large, and positions may be .filled without returned soldiers in other parts of the district knowing anything about them or getting consideration.

The position of sheriff is a district position; the sheriff appointed is a very eminent citizen, notwithstanding the fact that he is a Conservative. He is not a returned soldier. The position of district registrar has been vacant twice, and is now filled by a gentleman who is not a returned soldier. The mayor of Kenora, the gentleman who has sent telegrams to the effect that I deliberately falsified facts, has only recently received his appointment. I regard that appointment as compensation for the telegrams he sent out saying that I was not telling the truth in eastern Canada with respect to such matters as I am now speaking about. He is not a returned soldier. So far as I can understand the persons who will make recommendations to the Postmaster General are those who are now recommending to the provincial government, the appointment of men who are not returned soldiers.

Yesterday the minister in charge of the bill took a very fair position. I think if the Conservative executive, the member for the district, or the defeated candidates are to make the recommendations with respect to the filling of positions the government ought to let that fact be known. Otherwise, 1 may have to vote that the bill go back into committee.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

The letter which the hon. member has shown to me does not deal with federal affairs. I cannot deal with Ontario political affairs, because I am not responsible therefor in any way.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

But the minister will see-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Therefore, the complaints made in this letter, which I am not allowed to read to the house, are complaints of which I cannot take cognizance.

With regard to the bill now before the house, it provides that the preference estab-

Civil Service Act

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS PRECLUDED BY VOTE TO PROCEED TO ORDERS OF THE DAY
Sub-subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink

lished by section 29 of the Civil Service Act, that is, the preference granted in favour of the persons mentioned therein, shall be applied in respect of appointments to such positions. That preference is reaffirmed and reincorporated into the amending bill. I have not the slightest doubt that the members and officials of the government who will carry this measure into effect will give due consideration to the statutory enactment of the parliament of Canada, to which the ministers of the crown who administer the act are responsible. That is all I can say.


May 24, 1932