May 4, 1938

CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

Many of them have

wood lots.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

There are no wood lots in our district.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

Perhaps not. and perhaps not much of anything else. But he would likely have his shelter, he would not have to rent a house. He woidd also have some of his food.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Where would he get his food?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

He would probably produce some of it.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

There has not been any produced.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

Not in the dried out area, but on the average farm a man would produce some of his food.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

I am talking of conditions in my district.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

I think the explanation would be found in the basis of relief and the different conditions that prevail.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Could the minister give us any information as to the basis upon which the grant in aid is made to Ontario?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The grants in aid to all the provinces have been affected by two factors, the extent of unemployment and the financial position of the province concerned. No mathematical formula has been worked out which could be applied to the conditions in the various provinces in order to determine just how grants in aid should be allocated among the various provinces. Broadly speaking, those are the two factors that have deteirmined what has bpen paid by the dominion government to the provinces.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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Section agreed to. Sections 8 and 9 agreed to. On section 10-Appointment of officers, clerks and employees.


CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

I notice that under this section the minister keeps in his own hands the appointment of officers, clerks and employees. The civil service commission does not come into the picture at all. In connection with the appointments that the minister will make, can he assure the committee that there will be no reference to the principle that to the victor belongs the spoils? I am. referring particularly to the remarks of the Prime Minister the other day when he said:

I would say that the government would deplore moneys appropriated by parliament being used, directly or indirectly, for political partisan purposes, no matter for what purpose they have been appropriated.

Could the minister tell us how these officers, clerks and employees will be selected, and if it will be necessary for them to have their names on particular lists? As he is not using the civil service commission, from what source will he get the names? Perhaps the minister would consider also the remarks made yesterday by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) with regard to the increased cost of administration.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I shall be very glad to deal with both these points. The staff ofthe unemployment relief branch of the Department of Labour has been beyond the scope of the Civil Service Act from the beginning. It was so arranged by the administration of which my hon. friend was a member and ithas been continued on the same basis.Although that staff has always been a

temporary staff, there have been no dismissals of any kind from the staff in Ottawa since the present administration came into office. There have been certain changes made in the outside staffs, referring particularly to the inspectors in the various provinces. There

Relief and Agricultural Distress

have not been many additions to the staff, but it has always been my desire to secure the best man available to do the work in view. I shall not suggest for one moment that all the positions have gone to those who were opposed to the present administration, but I will say that that has not been the determining consideration in every case. As a matter of fact, I have had a long list of applicants for any vacancy that might occur in the unemployment relief branch and a considerable number of these vacancies have been filled with those who were previously unemployed.

The hon. member referred to the statement made yesterday by the leader of the opposition as to the increased cost of administration of the unemployment relief branch. The statement made by the leader of the opposition was substantially correct, but the inferences he drew were substantially incorrect. I would point out that for the last year for which the previous administration was responsible, namely, the fiscal year ended March 31, 1936, the total cost of the branch was $140,067.67. Next year it rose moderately to $179,031.80 and the next year it had increased to $225,488.43. The increased expenditure was due to the fact that services which had been rendered formerly by other departments of government, or which had not been rendered at all, were carried out by the unemployment relief branch of the Department of Labour.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

Would the minister

indicate what services?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

There is one service in particular with which my hon. friend is familiar. The relief camps were previously under the Department of National Defence and, as my hon. friend knows, the administration cost of those camps was very high. I think it would be useful to have the administrative costs placed on Hansard. They are as follows:

1932 $ 25,031 18

1933

509,179 041934

726,844 541935

988,394 18

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

What would that include?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

That is the cost of the administrative staff. Those figures were obtained from the adjutant general's office of the Department of National Defence. I think the statement has been made before that the administrative costs reached a figure of about $80,000 a month. I am not suggesting, at this time at any rate, that that figure was in excess of what was reasonable, having regard to the particular organization of the camps, but I do say that if the leader of the opposition refers to the increased costs in connection

51952-162i

with relief he should make due allowance for the fact that a portion of the expense has been taken from the Department of National Defence and placed under the Department of Labour. In other words, our organization to deal with farm placement and forest conservation plans in connection with transients and single homeless men is an additional expense on the unemployment relief branch.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

If I may interrupt, surely no part of that item goes into the figure for 1937 where the biggest increase was.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I am coming to that. I am dealing with the points one by one.

Then there is the youth training branch. We have set up what I regard as an extremely economical branch to deal with training projects for unemployed young people, but that again has involved some addition to the expenditures of the branch.

Then finally we have increased the number of inspectors in the different provinces owing to the fact that the work done under joint works programs has covered a wider field than previously. I am sure that the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart) will appreciate the fact that under the late administration the bulk of the work was concentrated on the trans-Canada highway. We later changed that policy in order that the work should be done so far as possible near the centres of population where unemployment was most severe. There were more projects undertaken, in other words, in a greater number of places, and that required a larger inspectional staff.

These are the items which account almost wholly for the additional expenditure of the unemployment relief branch, and when that increase in the expenditures of this branch is compared with the elimination of the administrative costs of the relief camps, amounting to some $900,000 in 1936, it will be appreciated, I think, that the work of the Department of Labour with respect to unemployment and relief is being done in a very economical way.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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May 4, 1938