WAP. DUTIES SUPPLEMENTS-WAGES AND SALARIES CONTROL
On the orders of the day: Mr. GORDON B. ISNOR (Halifax): Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called I should like to address a question to the government, more particularly to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) to whom I sent an enlarged note on the subject of this inquiry. As a business man operating retail stores I have received many inquiries. I hold in my hand some of the reports which have appeared during the past week about the payment of war duties supplements to civil servants. Many people are interpreting these to indicate that the government itself is not following the principle of wage and salary control-
-that it is imposing on private employers.
Civil Service-War Supplements
I would remind the hon.
member that when a question is put to a minister, it should not give information to the house but rather should seek to obtain information from the minister.
My question can be put in
three words: Is this correct?
Mr. R. W. MAYHEW (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance):
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has received some reports of misunderstanding about this matter, and he anticipated this question. We are grateful to the hon. member for Halifax foT sending it to us ahead of time. I should like to read a statement on behalf of the minister who at the present time is out of the city.
As a result of the publications during the past .week of the lists of those civil servants who received war duties supplements, and of incomplete expositions in the press of their nature and purpose, including, I may add, a tendency to use the short and convenient word "bonus" in describing them, many people have jumped to the conclusion that the government itself, as employer, has not observed the principles it kid down in the wartime wages control order and the wartime salaries order. Such a conclusion is wrong and is based on misunderstanding.
War duties supplements have been paid to civil servants instead of higher wages or salaries that would result from permanent promotions or reclassifications, and they are similar to the increased wage or salary rates which private business has been permitted to pay to employees who have been promoted or reclassified as a result of added responsibilities and increased duties.
Early in the war the government adopted the policy of making no permanent promotions or reclassifications except to fill vacancies due to death or retirement, or in quite exceptional circumstances, because it was felt that the abnormal conditions of war did not make possible a proper appraisal of permanent positions, and also because it was felt that civil servants could reasonably be expected to shoulder some additional duties without extra pay. Later, after the wage control and salaries orders had been introduced and it was evident that the war would last some years longer, it was realized that civil servants who were doing substantially more difficult and important work than that appropriate to their salaries should get some increase in pay even though they were not permanently promoted or reclassified. War duties supplements were introduced to meet this need, and under regulations particularly designed to ensure that they would be
granted only in circumstances which would entitle increases to be paid to private employees under the wage or salary orders.
More specifically it has been the policy, and required under our regulations, that war duties supplements be awarded only to those civil servants who have been given "added duties and increased responsibilities," and in amounts warranted by these. They have been comparable with increased salaries for promotions permitted under paragraph 3 of the salaries order or with increases in war industry permitted under paragraph 5 (a) (iii) of that order. They are comparable with the increases permitted under the wages order, without application to war labour boards, which result from the promotion or reclassification of employees from one job classification to another.
Indeed, the need to follow closely the principles applied to private business under our stabilization policy has brought us under criticism from civil servants who accuse us of discrimination in not granting these supplements more widely. Naturally, many persons who have done more work, or worked longer hours, or whose work has been of real importance in the war, feel that their efforts and importance should be recognized in higher pay. But we could not follow a general practice of that kind without endangering our stabilization programme if the same principles were permitted to apply in private business. Consequently we have had to restrict the payment of supplements to those who have in fact been given additional duties and increased responsibilities, not simply a greater amount of work, and who would therefore, under normal circumstances, have merited promotion, or, in the technical parlance of the civil service, reclassification.
BRITISH IMPORT LICENCES STATEMENT OF PREMIER ATTLEE-SHIPMENTS OF CANADIAN GOODS
On the orders of the day:
Mr. G. K. FRASER (Peterborough West):
Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Trade and Commerce intend to make a statement in regard to the question I asked yesterday?
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF PREMIER ATTLEE-SHIPMENTS OF CANADIAN GOODS
Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
I wish to advise the house that at the very earliest opportunity I intend to make a statement on the question raised by the hon. member for Peterborough West, which is attracting a great deal of attention not only in the house but throughout Canada generally. More completely to inform the house upon the situation, certain communications are being carried on, and just as soon
British Import Licenses
as they can be brought to finality I propose to make a statement to the house. In the meantime I want to assure the hon. member and the house generally that this question is receiving the very closest and most earnest attention of the government.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF PREMIER ATTLEE-SHIPMENTS OF CANADIAN GOODS
INQUIRY FOR RETURNS LEGAL SERVICES-.BORDEN, ELLIOT, SANKEY AND KELLEY
Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, I have a question to ask regarding standing order 81, which reads as follows: A prorogation of^ the house shall not have the effect of nullifying an order or address of the house for returns or papers, but all papers and returns ordered at one session of the house, if not complied with during the session, should be brought down during the following session, without renewal of the order. On March 21 last the following question was passed as an order for a return: By Mr. Pouliot: Since the beginning of the war, how much was paid each year by the dominion government and any dominion board, commission and corporation and any other dominion agency to: 1. The law firm of Borden, Elliot, Sankey and Kelley, barristers and solicitors, of the city of Toronto? 2. The following partners of the above-mentioned firm: (a) H. Borden. K.C.; (b) B. Y. Elliot, K.C.; (c) R. H. Sankey, K.C.; (d) W. A. G. Kelley; (e) J. T. Johnson; (f) I. G. Wahn; (g) A. D. McAlpine, and (h) Hon. C. P. McTague, K.C.? There were two or three other similar orders for returns passed that day or the day after, and I hope that I shall have the returns soon.
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, may I say to my hon. friend that, as he is no doubt aware, the rule he has just read applies to prorogation. It does not apply to dissolution. A dissolution of one parliament ends all its proceedings.
Subtopic: LEGAL SERVICES-.BORDEN, ELLIOT, SANKEY AND KELLEY
LABOUR CONDITIONS STRIKE AT FORD MOTOR PLANT, WINDSOR
On the orders of t'he day: Mr. ANGUS MaeINNIS (Vancouver East): May I ask the Minister of Labour if his department has taken or is contemplating any further action to try to effect a settlement in the Ford dispute?
Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):
My hon, friend can rest assured that we will not give up until the last whistle blows. Anything and everything that can be done to bring that dispute to a
good conclusion will be done. As a matter of fact I am meeting somebody this afternoon at four o'clock in connection with the dispute. I was informed this morning, although I have not been able to check it, that the power house will be opened in the near future.
Subtopic: STRIKE AT FORD MOTOR PLANT, WINDSOR