April 22, 1936

CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

Does the minister not draw a distinction between the higher class of the staff and the lower? I cannot remember the name of the bill, but I do recall that a bill was passed some years ago in which it was indicated that certain of the staff would be appointed by the civil service commission and the remainder by order in council. I remember the matter was discussed in this chamber for some time. I am not suggesting that the minister should arrange the section so that all appointments should be made by the civil service commission, but I do submit to him that he should make a beginning. Could he not draw some distinction-he is better able to do it than I am-between the different classes of employees? He could make a beginning towards developing a permanent service for the harbours.

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

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

It must be obvious to the hon. member, as it is to me, that it cannot be done this afternoon.

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

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

No.

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

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The matter would require careful study. It seems to me that if we decided to do it to-day it would take a year to put it into effect.

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

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

No.

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

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

We would have to declare all positions vacant and ask for new appointments.

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:

No. I cannot remember the name of the bill, but one was passed in which-

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

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I think it was the bill setting up the radio commission. But may I point out that on that occasion the employees in the lower brackets were placed under the civil service commission, and those in the upper were exempt. If I may judge from what I read in the public press and elsewhere, the people most criticized are those who are exempt.

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:

That may be, but the bill setting up the radio commission is not the one I had in mind.

National Harbours Board

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

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I think the same thing happened in connection with the bill setting up the tariff board.

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:

What about the unemployment insurance measure?

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

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

As I understand it, nearly all the employees are placed under the civil service commission.

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

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

I shall1 not deal with the question of patronage raised by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan), because that has been answered by the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Finn), who showed clearly that ninety-five to ninety-nine per cent of the employees of the Halifax harbour commission were dismissed immediately after the change of government in 1030. If I remember correctly, the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George stated that they took steps at once to change conditions. They did take steps at once, the steps referred to by my colleague.

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:

Mr. Chairman, I ask the hon. member to please take that back. I did not make any such statement with regard to conditions in Halifax or in any other port. I had nothing whatever to do with the employment or dismissal of any person in the port of Halifax or the port of Montreal. I stand in this chamber and say that I was a minister of the crown for five years and never interfered to dismiss from his employ any man, no matter what his political or partisan views or how partisan his actions may have been.

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

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

There is such a thing as hying to wash one's hands of one's colleague.

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 am not trying to do that; I am replying to an insinuation which is entirely unfounded.

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

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

I should not like to misquote or make a misstatement where the hon. member is concerned. If he did not use those words, he did say-and I hope I am correct this time-that steps were taken. In other words steps were taken by his government to bring about certain changes. I simply make the statement that they did make changes. They made changes to a very marked extent in connection with one particular activity, that of the Halifax harbour commission, where they dismissed practically every employee. That was a minor step. The allimportant step which they should have taken did not take place until January 15, 1932. At that time a very important step was taken by the late government when it appointed

Sir Alexander Gibb to look into harbour matters.

It is surprising the extent to which hon. gentlemen opposite change their tactics when they lose office. When in power they are ready to bring about changes which will provide for their friends, but immediately they are in opposition their tactics change. "Oh no, you must not do this; you must not do that; you must not make changes, because they will have a tendency to bring about a greater degree of patronage 1" Such observations are not fitting at a time when the Minister of Marine is endeavouring to bring about conditions which will add to efficiency in the handling and development of ports in Canada.

I do not wish to deal with this matter in a sectional way. If I were to do so I would strongly advocate the recommendation in the Gibb report concerning local advisory committees. Last night mention was made of a local advisory committee to cooperate with the central board. However I do not propose to go into that matter now. The minister has laid down a program, which he believes will be effective, but which does not provide for this type of committee, and his judgment is good enough for me. For that reason I will not press the suggestion.

May I offer to the minister a constructive thought with regard to all Canadian ports. First may I call the attention of the committee to one or two facts brought out by the royal commission on maritime claims headed by Sir Andrew Rae Duncan. I do not wish unnecessarily to take up time, but I should like to point out that 'the commission was appointed by the present Prime Minister, and the report tabled is of national importance. Among other recommendations the commission stressed the importance of shipment through Canadian ports. When I refer to that part of the report I am certainly not advancing the claims of Halifax, Saint John, or any other single port. I refer to all Canadian ports, and with that thought in mind I address my observations to the Minister of Marine. After examining records and hearing the evidence of witnesses, they say:

From the records, as we have examined them, we reach the conclusion that Nova Scotia was peculiarly unfortunate in the treatment which was accorded to the claims she pressed forward to the dominion government from time to time, with the result that no consideration-apart from the "better terms" of 1869, which were, in fact, an adjustment made as at 1867-was given her to meet what she regarded as her special wants and interests.

National Harbours Board

I want those words contained in the Duncan report to be borne in mind. They were made after the royal commission had made their investigation. The report goes on to say:

At any rate, the result has been to prevent the healing which time and sympathetic understanding might well have achieved, to leave on the mind of Nova Scotia a sense of continuing injustice, and the feeling that, had her numbers and influence been greater, better treatment would have been accorded to her.

It is with that thought in mind, a better treatment for the maritimes and all our Canadian ports, that I am going to offer for consideration an amendment to be included as subsection 2 of section 4. I could make extended remarks upon it but the minister is familiar with all the arguments that have been advanced. I could cite the statement that was made by the late Sir Henry Thornton, when president of the Canadian National Railways, and his proposal to establish an office at Moncton to bring about closer cooperation between the maritimes, or, as he called it, between lower and upper Canada.

1 could also refer to many recommendations that have been made by other commissions, but without going into further detail I move that the following be inserted as subsection

2 of section 4:

The board shall so direct, provide and procure that all freight destined for export by sea which is consigned within Canada for carriage to National Railways either at point of origin or between that and the sea shall, unless it has been by its shippers specifically routed otherwise, be exported through Canadian ports.

May I say that in pressing this amendment I am simply advocating what has been placed before the government and parliament of Canada time and again, that our goods should be shipped through our own Canadian ports. I could give the tonnage and so forth, but I do not think it would add to my case as the minister is already familiar with those facts. I would like to compliment the minister upon bringing forward this important bill and on the amendments that are provided in the reprinted bill. I feel that the bill is much more satisfactory now that certain changes have been made. I feel sure that it will have the support of all good Canadians provided that our goods are shipped through the facilities provided by our own ports.

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

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

Perhaps my hon. friend and colleague (Mr. Isnor) has overlooked the fact that in the Transcontinental railway act, which was a legislative agreement between the Grand Trunk and the then government of Canada, the very provision which he now desires to be placed in this bill was incorporated in that act.

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

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

Quite so.

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

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

And as the Transcontinental has been taken over and has become a part of the Canadian National railway system that clause applies to all parts of railways which are part and parcel of the Canadian National railway system. It might be advanced from a legal standpoint that there would be a conflict perhaps between a harbour board appointed by the government of Canada to function at Ottawa and the persons who go out to obtain freight for the Canadian National railway system. While the suggested amendment of my hon. colleague from Halifax is one which, I know, is near and dear to his heart, as it is also to mine, I would suggest that before his amendment is dealt with the minister might consult with the justice department or the hon. gentleman who is acting in the absence of the hon. Minister of Justice as to whether the placing of this specific amendment in this bill would in any way conflict with the legislative contract, which is stronger than a provision, that I have mentioned. When the government of Canada took over the Transcontinental there was placed a double responsibility on the government of Canada. First, the government placed it on the Grand Trunk, and then they took it back when they took over the Grand Trunk, so that we are in an even stronger position than before to ask the government of Canada to see to it that these very things are done which my hon. friend and I so much desire. I compliment my colleague from Halifax upon bringing this matter to the attention of the Minister of Marine and the committee, but I think it would be well if he would allow the amendment to stand until the minister has had an opportunity to discuss it with the Justice department to see whether it might in any way lead to a conflict between the government railways of Canada and the board to be appointed under this legislation.

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

April 22, 1936