May 13, 1953

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Just a minute, Mr. Chairman. What is it?

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LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Item 78 is in connection with the civil service commission.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Just a minute. When you jump around, Mr. Chairman, to all the odds and ends that come under the Secretary of State, I think it would be a good idea to let us know when you change from one division to another.

Civil service commission-

78. Salaries and contingencies of the commission, $2,018,879.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Under this one item having to do with the civil service commission, there are again one or two comments that I should like to make. First of all I wish to bring to the attention of the Secretary of State, who is the cabinet minister who speaks in

Supply-Secretary of State parliament for the civil service commission, the protests being made by civil service organizations across Canada at the present time at the refusal of the government to consider their requests for salary increases and other changes in their working conditions. Speaking at the moment not only for myself but for my colleague the hon. member for Selkirk and my colleague the hon. member for Winnipeg North, I may say that within the past few days we have been in receipt of extremely strong representations concerning this matter from a number of civil service organizations in Winnipeg.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Cape Breton South, too.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

My colleague the hon. member for Cape Breton South is asking to be included. No doubt he is referring to representations from his part of the country. 1 imagine that other members in all parts of the house are getting similar representations from wherever civil servants are working for the government.

Had this matter come before us earlier in the session when more time was available,

I had intended to make one of those 40-minute speeches which we are entitled to make, but I will not do so at this time. I took the trouble to give some study to this matter and to look at the figures. In my view the civil servants have a good case in their claim for salary increases. If you compare their average wages and salaries with those in other comparable types of employment, and if you look at the increases they have had and compare them with the increases that other employees have had over the past few years, on that basis I am satisfied that they have an increase coming to them.

I should also say that in terms of the right of workers-and after all, our civil servants are workers-to an improvement step by step in their standard of living by virtue of the improvements in production and in technological advance, on that basis also they are entitled to an increase in their salaries. I feel too that further consideration should be given to the extension of the five-day week amongst the civil servants.

I present to the minister these claims that, as I say, are now coming to us from civil service organizations across Canada. At the start I said we spoke

those of us from the Winnipeg area, at any rate-for those in our own area; but I am sure we speak for civil servants all over the country. Indeed, some of the resolutions I have on my desk are addressed to the Minister of Finance, to the Secretary of State and to the chairman of the civil service commission. Despite the

negative answer which the Prime Minister gave to the Leader of the Opposition a couple of days ago, I urge as strongly as I can that this matter be given further consideration at this time.

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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

I feel guilty in rising in the dying hours of the session to say anything about this matter, but I am going to cut it short. I am going to endorse what was said by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I too have received telegrams from these people who are dissatisfied with the action of the cabinet in turning down their recommendations for better working conditions and an adjustment in salaries. If the matter had come before us earlier no doubt we would have been able to say a great deal more about it.

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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

Mr. Chairman, I cannot

allow this item to pass without making my annual plea to the Secretary of State, namely that when changes are contemplated in the composition of the civil service commission the next commissioner appointed should be a woman. With the large number of women there are in the civil service, I feel strongly that they should have a voice in the management of the commission. I urge upon the Secretary of State that he take this plea under serious consideration. I shall be extremely pleased if he can see fit to accede to my request.

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I know of no intention at

the moment to retire any member of the civil service commission. But when that situation arises, I have no doubt that due consideration will be given to the representation made by my hon. friend.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

May I ask the Secretary

of State one question which arises out of something that was said here in the house not many days ago. Who appoints the officials and the employees who work in connection with the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act administration? That is P.F.R.A.

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I would not undertake to

answer that question offhand. It will depend on the statute. If under the statute they come under the civil service commission, then that is the way they are appointed. If on the other hand there is some special statute which provides some other method of appointment, say by order in council, then they would be appointed in that way.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Offhand, the Secretary of

State would expect that these people would be appointed as civil servants by the civil service commission?

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I could not say that. The

Prairie Farm Assistance Act, I presume, has become practically a permanent act now, although originally it was not intended to be so. I am afraid I could not give the answer.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

It was P.F.R.A. about which I was speaking.

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I will obtain the answer and let the hon. member have it. I have not the answer now.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

I should be glad if the

Secretary of State would do that.

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I will do it.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

The other day the hon.

member for Dauphin said these people were all appointed by the Minister of Agriculture. I found that hard to believe.

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I do not think that is true.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

At least I would hate to have to believe it.

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May 13, 1953