I wish to address a question to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe) and the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers). A telegram has come to-day addressed to the hon. member for Jasper-Edson (Mr. Kuhl), from the town of Edson, Alberta, a divisional point of the Canadian National Railways. It states that an already heavy relief burden is being further aggravated by the lay-off of railway employees at this point. The citizens there are expressing anxiety and they ask for an early solution. What assurance can the government give the people of Edson that these men will be adequately provided for so that a crisis which appears to be impending there may be averted? I notice that the ministers of transport and of labour are not in the chamber at the moment, and I trust that the Minister of Justice will direct their attention to the question.
Topic: CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic: REPORTED LAY-OFF OF EMPLOYEES AT EDS0N, ALBERTA
In the details of the vote given on page 169 it appears that there is only one grade for all railway mail clerks. About six weeks ago a delegation from the railway mail clerks appeared before the civil service committee, asking that a recommendation be made that there should be at least two grades of railway mail clerks, one for the junior men and one for the seniors who have charge of the different lines. We understood subsequently from the chairman of the civil service commission that the Post Office Department had asked for a regrading. Will new grades be established?
I am told that the matter has to be discussed with the civil service commission, but that has not yet been done. Action will follow as soon as the parliamentary committee on the civil service has completed its work, when the department will consult with the civil service commission as to what steps should appropriately be taken.
No definite decision on that can be given until all the details have been thoroughly examined by the officials of the department. The department on its own initiative has referred the matter to the civil service commission for discussion. I do not know whether my hon. friend can gather a favourable opinion from that or not. But the matter will be discussed later on.