The salary of the deputy minister of course will remain at the level of the salaries of other deputy ministers. As far as the salaries of the directors of branches or divisions are concerned, at the moment I am not in a position to give the house that
information. I should say at once that probably they will not all be uniform, because I think the degree of responsibility will vary. As my own opinion in the matter I may say simply that with regard to the directors of these branches it would be a mistake to limit their salaries too greatly and as a consequence possibly fail to retain the services of efficient men.
The hon. member for Rellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) says "Hurrah!" He failed a little while ago with a particular bill, but I am well aware that he and a good many in this house would like to diminish the present work and importance of the civil service commission. This seems [DOT]to me like another move by which that might be accomplished. I cannot see how efficiency can be maintained throughout the civil service if the higher positions are to be given to men or women from outside that service. If the civil service commission is to be relegated to the comparatively unimportant
Department oj Mines and Resources
work of appointing junior clerks, we ought to know it. I cannot see how men of ability can be expected to enter the civil service and remain in it if they know that the higher positions are to be granted to people from outside. I refer to positions as 'higher in the sense of, being of more influence and responsibility, and, what generally goes with that, commanding higher salaries. It is unfortunate if we are to put this new type of official designated "director" in such a position as that. The minister admits that there are too many people on the staff of these departments now and that the staff should be considerably reduced. I think that if it be at all possible, if there are competent men available in the service, men who have proved their efficiency in the service, they should be chosen for the positions now being created.
stated, or at any rate intended to, that that was precisely the intention of the administration in creating these positions. I said I did not wish to bind myself absolutely as far as the directorships were concerned, but I can say that I think the directorships can all be filled from the present staffs. And may I add a further word. My hon. friend probably has not had much experience in administration of this kind, but any minister, in a vast department such as this, would be very foolish if he did not seek to get experienced and efficient men at the head of the divisions and branches. If he should allow any other consideration than that to govern him he would be piling up trouble for himself. I can assure my hon. friend that I certainly do not want to do that. As I have already stated, in a reorganization of this large department there are bound to be some disappointments; that I think is inevitable. But I have already said, and I wish again to make it clear, that in the reclassification of these positions or the reorganization of the whole work of these five departments, or four departments and one branch, the aim will be to work as little hardship as possible. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) was good enough to refer to that point. I am fully conscious of the difficulties in that regard. I do not expect that the economies that can finally be brought about by the reorganization that is to take place will be achieved in the course of a few months, possibly not in a year. Certainly there will be no additions in the [Mr. Woodsworth.J
departments. There is the lessening of numbers in the ordinary course; servants reach the retiring age and take their superannuation allowance; some resign to take better positions elsewhere, and lady members of the staff get married-all these causes in course of time will operate to reduce the staff. It may be, and I want to thank the leader of the opposition for his suggestion, that in certain cases special arrangements may have to be made so as not to work a hardship on any member of the staff. But I should like the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre to appreciate that as far as I am concerned we shall work this out with the minimum of hardship. I desire to get the highest degree of efficiency possible in the administration, and I must ask my hon. friend, whom I have known for a good many years, and who has known me, to accept that assurance.
I am quite willing to accept the word of the minister; I have profound respect for his good intentions. But I want to be sure that the interests of the civil service are safeguarded, and I am always afraid when I see clauses introduced which contain the phrase, "notwithstanding anything in the Civil Service Act." We are constantly creating new types of service and new branches, and very often people from outside the service are brought in. It seems to me that, having a department that is overstaffed like this, when new services are created there should be found in the existing departments persons who are qualified to take the new positions. That is what I want to emphasize. I do want to keep that aspect of the case before the committee.