February 9, 1937


690 COMMONS Supply-External Affairs-London



Salaries, including appointment of A. Tunwell as a clerk, grade three, at $1,620, $42,487.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Perhaps the Prime Minister will explain the appointment in this manner of a clerk, grade three. This is a matter to which attention always used to be directed and I am curious to know why it is done in this case.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

As my right hon. friend is aware, there are a large number of clerks in the service who have been serving year after year as temporaries. The clerk mentioned here has been in the service in one capacity or another during the last fifteen years. As he has personal responsibilities of his own to meet and performs necessary duties it was thought advisable to have him made permanent.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The objection which has been taken in this house during the last five years to this course of action is that it sets at naught the provisions of the Civil Service Act, and provides for a salary based upon the exercise of arbitrary discretion. I agree with the Prime Minister that there are occasions on which it should be done, and it has been done, quite properly in my judgment. I only point out that it comes within that category of cases about which in days long since past we used to hear quite frequently.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I think the

point has been well raised. It does seem to me that there is a good deal of injustice being done to a large number of persons in the public service who are kept on as temporaries from year to year and who have no guarantee as to the permanency of their positions. I believe the whole situation ought to be reviewed at the proper time.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink

Item agreed to. London.-Salaries and expenses of the office of the High Commissioner for Canada, including $1,900 additional salary for the high commissioner to that authorized by chapter 15, R.S.C., $137,000.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I suggest to the Prime Minister that it is undesirable to modify a statute by an item in the estimates rather than by amendment of the act itself, in order to increase the salary of the high commissioner. While I am not going to quarrel with the excellent reasons that will be given for increasing the salary, I do suggest it would be far more desirable from every point of view that we amend the appropriate act that deals with the matter. If the Prime

Minister's attention had been directed to it I think he would have agreed with me that when you are dealing with a statute which itself provides for the compensation to be paid to the officer named in the statute, the proper course to pursue, if it is desired to increase the salary, is to amend the act by deleting the words "twelve thousand" and substituting therefor the words "fourteen thousand." But what has been done here is to add to the salary $2,000 less five per cent, which means $1,900. I can only voice my objection against the practice in the strongest possible terms and have it go on the record of this house, because it constitutes a precedent that I think is very dangerous, and what is more, very undesirable. The statute itself should always indicate the compensation that attaches to the office.

Beyond that, I think the Prime Minister should give us some explanation of the increase, as I am sure he will; because certainly it would be difficult to justify the increase in view of the criticisms that were made in the past with respect to the cost of administration of the office.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The point

raised by my right hon. friend is a good one, but may I say that his criticism is rather of himself than of the present administration, because what has been done in the present estimates is simply to carry forward the item in the form in which it appeared during years my right hon. friend was in office.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think not.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes, I think so.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I amended it one year, to my certain knowledge.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

Two wrongs never make

a right, anyway.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

An increase was made in the salary during the time Mr. Ferguson was high commissioner, I think, and the item in this particular simply carries forward what appeared in the estimates before. That I think answers one point of my right hon. friend.

As to the extra amount required, there has been a good deal of additional work thrown on the high commissioner's office of late. This past year the pilgrimage to Yimy had to be in large part managed through the London and Paris offices combined. There was a great deal of work thrown on the office when the pilgrims were in London. This year the coronation ceremony and the preparation for the imperial conference, which will come immediately after, will also involve a great deal of

____ Supply-External Affairs-London

additional work. Then, too, the Quebec government and the Ontario government have withdrawn their offices in London and Paris, occasioning a largely increased number of inquiries to be directed to the high commissioner's office with respect to many matters. A number of questions have also come up which have required additional stenographic assistance in the high commissioner's office, matters which the house will probably find referred to in the report. I think that covers all that was asked.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

As one who has had nothing to do in the past with the method of fixing these salaries, it seems to me that the leader of the opposition is quite right in saying that if there is an act, the proper method of increasing the salary is to amend the act instead of putting in the estimates an item such as this. We are left completely at sea if we pass a statute and then disregard its terms. Whether or not the leader of the opposition, when he was responsible for the administration, did the same thing is quite aside from the question. It seems to me the statute ought to rule in such matters, and I oppose very decidedly this method of proceeding. I see a little bit further on in the estimates another example of what is getting to be very common, a vote "notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Civil Service Act or any of its amendments." We are simply driving holes through our statutes.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

Are the details of this

$125,000 of expenses shown anywhere?

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend will find in the auditor general's report pretty full details of the expenditures.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

But the difficulty is that the auditor general's report deals only with expenditures up to March 31, 1936. We are now almost one year past that, and are being asked to vote money for the year that is to come.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I cannot tell my hon. friend what the expenditures will be for the coming year, but I can give him the particulars of current expenditure which I have here.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

The information is available with respect to other departments.

Topic:   OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Permalink

February 9, 1937