April 22, 1936

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

What was the next step?

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:

That is the step that was taken. The other matter, as explained by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) was the development work in connection wtih certain of these ports. This work was in progress and it seemed inopportune to introduce a measure of this radical character so near the end of the session. The other phase concerns who would be best qualified to select the employees of these boards and the hon. gentleman suggests that the three men whom he will select will be best qualified. Following out that same argument, I assume that the hon. gentleman thinks if he were made prime minister of Canada he would be best qualified to select all the civil servants in every branch of the government. The argument leads tc that. I suggest that this bill provides for the hon. gentleman a system of patronage unprecedented in the administration of any department of the government. The effect of this bill is to place the harbour boards under the administration of his department; his department assumes responsibility. If my life is preserved for three years, I shall be very happy to sit opposite to the hon. gentleman and discuss the pernicious practices which will inevitably grow up and the evils which will undoubtedly ensue from the adoption of the system of patronage which is embodied in this particular clause.

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 am glad the Gibb report is referred to, but apparently hon. gentlemen have never read it. Sir Alexander Gibb covered this matter very carefully in paragraph 92 of the report, which reads:

The central harbour board should act under the Minister of Marine, but not under any department. It should have wide discretionary powers in the matter of rates, salaries, terms of service, the settling and administration of contracts, the engagement of special technical assistance, the sanctioning of emergency capital expenditure, and the control generally of all construction and port operations.

That is what my hon. friend's expert said about this.

National Harbours Board

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

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I am not responsible for the report. Experts for every other department are selected by the civil service commission upon the report and advice of departmental officers. The Gibb report suggests that this should be under a minister and not under a department. What the report had in view undoubtedly was the creation of a distinct department or bureau or board which would supervise the administration and which would be under the minister. I shall be prepared to come back at the end of three years and discuss with the hon. gentleman whether this system of patronage which he is introducing advances the best interests of the government and the public.

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 board we are creating is exactly the one described by Sir Alexander Gibb in his report. Sir Alexander said that the board should report to the minister and not through a deputy minister. This board, as I say, is exactly the same as the one described by Sir Alexander Gibb and the matter of rates, salaries, terms of service and so on will be the same as Sir Alexander Gibb recommended. As my hon. friend has claimed the Gibb report for his party, it seems to me that that rather closes the issue.

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:

My hon. friend need not be so personal; I did not claim the Gibb report for my party or any party. We are more interested in the proper administration of these harbour boards.

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:

My hon. friend paid me a compliment by saying that I was aspiring to be prime minister of Canada.

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 did not suggest that the hon. gentleman was aspiring to that position; I suggested that the argument which he was advancing would tend to vest in the prime minister the appointment of all officials and employees in every grade of the service.

Mr. ST-PERE: I do not think we would be the losers by that.

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

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Possibly not, although there is a widespread difference of opinion. That sort of patronage has led to evil results; it is a pernicious practice.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order. This bill refers to the Minister of Transport, but there is no Minister of Transport. Item 24 on the order paper refers to a resolution to provide for the appointment of a Minister of Transport, but that resolution and the following bill should first be passed. It is only after the principle has been agreed to that the accessory can be discussed in committee. At the present time

the Minister of Transport does not exist and we are being asked to transfer the whole harbour commission business to a department at present non-existent. I am very much surprised that such an eminent lawyer as the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) has not seen this before.

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 took exception to it last evening.

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Exception was taken to this particular point, I believe, by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George, but I do not think the point is well taken. The last section of this bill states that it will come into force only on proclamation of the governor in council and the resolution referred to by the hon. member will be law long before this bill is proclaimed. The definition of "minister" as the Minister of Transport does not affect the validity of this bill.

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:

My hon. friend should not make such a confident declaration, as this bill cannot be enacted and proclaimed without the confirmation of another branch of this parliament.

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

This bill will not become law until proclaimed.

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:

That is true.

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

There is every possible safeguard.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I was interrupted just

as I was making my point. Has the chair given a ruling on the matter or has the objection been withdrawn? I should like to have a ruling. I do not want to displease anyone, but I want to see good legislation. Our legislation should be one and two and number two should not be number one. It seems to me that everyone will agree with that. I do not want to cause trouble to anyone, but I want to be clear in my mind that the legislation we are discussing is right. This is a serious objection. Perhaps the reason why this resolution has not been passed is because the government have changed their mind. Perhaps the bill we are now studying will never be put into force because the resolution will not be submitted to the committee. We do not know this and I want to be sure. It seems to me that we should first create a department before it is given any power, especially such powers as are granted by this legislation. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that it will be very difficult for you to elucidate this matter and give a ruling on the whole thing.

National Harbours Board

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

This section stood over last night for further consideration, and I submit that the question does not now arise.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

This section is not an

independent section of the bill; it is the whole bill. The whole thing will rest upon the shoulders of the minister, for whom I have great respect-, and I want him to be empowered with full authority when these powers are conferred upon him. That is the point. You cannot give powers to a dummy; the minister must first receive authority to control the harbours of the country before these harbours are transferred to him. This is elementary; it is common sense, and the legislation should be drafted in that way. There were complaints yesterday about the way in which the legislation was drafted, and those complaints were serious. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that you are here not to please anyone but to see that the rules are observed and that discussion is carried on in accordance with the elementary principles of parliamentary procedure.

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

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

May I point out to the hon. gentleman that there is -a precedent for having the legislation in this form. I recollect distinctly that last year the government introduced several bills that were interwoven. There was a bill transferring to the tariff board the activities under the combines act; there was another bill creating a commission on trade and commerce, one of the sections of which bill provided that the commission should be under the tariff board; and then there was an amendment to the Tariff Board Act. These were all considered together on the distinct understanding that none of the bills would be put into force until they had all been passed. I submit to the hon. member that he is raising with some emphasis a point of order which is really not in keeping with the common practice in this chamber. I understand, moreover, that the- point was left in abeyance last night, and I see no objection to our proceeding with the bill in the meantime.

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

April 22, 1936