April 22, 1936

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The hon. member raised this

point on second reading, and upon that occasion the matter was discussed with the Department of Justice officials. That department has given the definite ruling that the measure contains the correct drafting, and I do not believe anything would be gained by referring it back to the department. We have consulted it once and laid the views of the hon. member before it. As minister I believe I am bound to take the ruling of the Department of Justice.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Of course the minister has the majority.

Subsection 2 agreed to.

On section 3 subsection 3-Board may contract, sue and be sued.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

This subsection brings up another matter. As a corporate body the board may sue and be sued, but in my opinion other provisions of the act are inconsistent. Nevertheless I assume that all real and personal property of which the board is in possession and is operating will be vested in his majesty. If so the board will have no property with which to respond to its own liabilities or to any judgment obtained against it. I have no objection to the provision that the board shall have capacity to sue and be sued, but in view of subsequent provisions suit against the board may have very little effect.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

This matter has been carefully considered by the Department of Justice. Obviously the board is engaged in a number of businesses, involving a large turnover of money. It has to enter into contractual relations with private parties. This subsection merely contains the declaration that the board may be sued for breach of contract, without obtaining a fiat from the crown. In other words it does away with the necessity of compelling people who wish to take action against it to obtain a fiat from the crown.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I appreciate that point, but in view of other provisions I think the board will have very limited resources with which to satisfy a judgment.

National Harbours Board

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I do not believe that that is so, because I must point out that the board is dealing in millions of dollars, and has a revenue of about eight million dollars per year, plus such deficiency appropriation as parliament may vote.

Subsection 3 agreed to.

Section 3, subsection 4 agreed to.

On section 3, subsection 5-Salaries.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

If the salaries of the board are to be fixed by the governor in council should they be left indefinite and subject to change by increases or decreases? I am not objecting to the subsection, but certainly 1 suggest that the salaries should be fixed n the bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

If the government is bound to pass the subsection we cannot prevent it, but I must remind the government that during the five years the previous government held office the present Prime Minister and his followers in opposition offered continuous criticism of action by order in council and without reference to parliament. I admit that there may be occasions when a salary cannot be stated in a bill, in which event the amount would have to be determined by the government, after taking all facts into consideration, but it does not seem to me that this is in that class. I assume the government must know at this time the persons they purpose appointing to the board, and they ought to be able to state the salaries in the bill. I submit that from the government's own point of view regarding orders in council this is something that ought to be determined here. If everything is to be left to be settled by order in council, what becomes of all the arguments hon. gentlemen opposite used during the last few years against the previous government?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The harbour commission is

in business in a very big way indeed, and we hope to secure the services of excellent men for the commission. We believe we should be free to pay what may be necessary in order to get the right type of man from time to time. I am advised by the Department of Justice that this is the usual procedure in matters of this kind, and I see no reason why it should be departed from in this case. My hon. friend is quite mistaken in saying that the government knows exactly how this board is going to be made up, because we cannot consider that until we get the legislation through.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink

Subsection agreed to. Subsections 6 to 9 inclusive agreed to. On section 3, subsection 10-In case of vacancy.


LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I move, Mr. Chairman, that this subsection be amended by striking out the words in the first line thereof, "there should be" and substituting in lieu thereof the word "of."

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink

Amendment agreed to. Subsection as amended agreed to. Subsections 11 to 15 inclusive agreed to. Section agreed to. On section 4-Officers, clerks and employees.


LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I move to amend subsection 1 by adding at the end thereof the following proviso:

Provided that in the employment of such officers, clerks and employees under the provisions of this subsection, other qualifications being equal, preference shall be given to persons who have been on active service overseas in the military forces, or being resident or domiciled in Canada at the outbreak of the war served in His Majesty's forces, or who have served on the high seas in a seagoing ship of war in the naval forces of His Majesty during the war, and who have left any of such services with an honourable record or who have been honourably discharged.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink

Amendment agreed to.


CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Before the clause as amended is carried I wish to consider the first four lines of section 4. When this board is organized and vested with the property and works of the seven existing harbour commissions it will be, next to the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific Railway, the third largest national corporation in the Dominion of Canada. Its employment will at times run into many scores and hundreds of employees who will really be in the service of the government of Canada, just as much in the service of the Dominion of Canada as the five hundred employees of the printing bureau under the Department of the Secretary of State which in itself is a separate and independent bureau or board but is nevertheless a branch of one of the departments of government just as this board inevitably will be one of the branches of a department of government. This bill provides that the three gentlemen who are appointed commissioners shall have complete control of the employment of all other officers, clerks and employees which they may deem necessary for the proper conduct of its business. This board will fix their remuneration and other terms of their employment, and I suggest that if the former system led to patronage and improper admin-

National Harbours Board

istration for political and partisan purposes, this bill is surcharged three times with the same prospective evils. It is an attempt, and a deliberate attempt, of the government to secure the employment of scores and hundreds of persons who will not be subject to the civil service regime or to examination and appointment by the civil service commission. I know the government have a majority and they may put it through, but I call attention to the fact that this is a flagrant violation of civil service principles to which successive governments have adhered in the past.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

There are now doubtless large numbers of employees in the service of the different harbour boards throughout the country. Is it the intention to reengage all those who are eligible on the present staffs or is it intended to employ entirely new staffs?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I trust that my hon. friend from St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) is not serious in suggesting that the civil service commission be allowed to select the staffs for all the business that is conducted by the harbour boards from Halifax to Vancouver, fluctuating staffs, and so forth. I do not like to be unpleasant about the thing, but it does seem to me that my hon. friend might have made some such suggestion when his government was in power and the harbour boards were operating exactly the same business. I cannot imagine that he would seriously make the suggestion. I do not think it would have been wise to put the staffs under the civil service commission then any more than it is to-day. I cannot think of a better qualified board to determine the personnel than the three experts whom we shall appoint to have direction over this enterprise. I cannot think of any better way of building up a service that will be a credit to the dominion than to allow the commission to pick its own personnel, place them on a basis of efficiency, and carry on from there.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I suggest that the hon. member himself last evening made certain declarations with regard to evils which he alleges have grown up under the existing system, and I suggest that by this bill the introduction of patronage which will be under his control will lead to evils far greater and more intense than those to which he called attention last evening. I have no doubt about it. The argument of the hon. gentleman that the previous government should have introduced a reform in respect to the administration of

these boards is not altogether relevant because the previous government did undertake to initiate reforms along the line of the report which my hon. friend has adopted.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

W'ould my hon. friend mind detailing the steps which the government took?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

The first step was to have a thorough investigation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HARBOURS BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HARBOURS
Permalink

April 22, 1936