November 29, 1962

PRESENCE IN GALLERY OF ISRAEL MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Before commencing our proceedings this afternoon I crave the indulgence of the house to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the Speaker's gallery of a very distinguished visitor to Canada. I am referring to Hon. Mrs. Golda Meir, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Israel. Mrs. Meir arrived yesterday in the course of a three day visit to Canada. I am sure that I am making myself the interpreter of all of us in the house when I extend to her our most courteous welcome and best wishes for a pleasant sojourn in Canada. I note with satisfaction that this week the weather in Ottawa is very acceptable.

May I, in addition, extend to her on your behalf our most sincere and heartfelt good wishes not only for herself but for her government and the people of her country. (Translation):

Before commencing our proceedings this afternoon, I would crave the indulgence of the house to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the Speaker's gallery of a very distinguished visitor to Canada. I am referring to the Hon. Mrs. Golda Meir, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Israel.

We extend to Mrs. Meir our most courteous welcome on the occasion of her three day visit to Canada. May I, in addition, extend to her on your behalf a personal welcome and our most sincere and heartfelt good wishes, not only for herself, but for her government and the people of her country.

(Text):

Topic:   PRESENCE IN GALLERY OF ISRAEL MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
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THE ROYAL ASSENT

PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received the following communication:

Government House,

Ottawa. November 29, 1962

Sir:

I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Patrick Kerwin, Chief Justice of Canada, acting as Deputy of His Excellency the Governor General, will proceed to the Senate 27507-3-135

chamber today, the 29th November, at 5.45 p.m., for the purpose of giving the royal assent to certain bills.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

A. G. Cherrier

Assistant Secretary to the Governor General. (Translation):

Topic:   THE ROYAL ASSENT
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PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS

CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


Mr. Georges Valade (Sf. Mary) presented the first report of the standing committee on privileges and elections and moved that the report be concurred in.


?

M. G. J. Mcllrailh (Ottawa West):

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, before the motion is put I would ask that the report be read in accordance with the usual practice.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

This will be done.

And the Clerk Assistant having read the report:

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to. (Text):


PUBLIC SERVICE

ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, reference was made yesterday to the fact that today I would place before the house the views of the government in respect of the first two volumes of the Glassco report. I now do so. Only the other day we received the second volume, which contains reports numbered 5 to 11. An earlier volume, the first, was received and published in September before parliament opened. It is our expectation that three more volumes will be forthcoming within the next two or three months.

I want to say at once that on the basis of the volumes already issued, Mr. Glassco and his colleagues, Mr. Therien and Mr. Sellar, deserved thanks for the thorough and constructive job they have been doing. Impressed with the room for improvement in administration which the commissioners and their staff have found in various parts of the public service, I may say at once that the government intends to see that improvements are made both in organization and in management.

2128 HOUSE OF

Glassco Commission Report

As the house is aware members of the government, both in office and earlier in opposition, have been convinced that for a good many years there have been substantial areas of public administration where considerable and even large savings could be effected without injury to the public welfare. While in opposition we pressed for several years, without avail, for such a study to be made along the line followed in the United States by the commission headed by exPresident Hoover. The reports and recommendations completely justify, as we see it, the action taken in appointing this commission. To begin with, the government is in general agreement with the basic philosophy of the commissioners as expressed in the reports, and I expect that most of the recommendations they have submitted will be carried out and at the earliest possible date.

In the introduction to the first report it is stated that substantial economies had already been achieved and additional money saving proposals were being studied by departments and agencies. These developments are presently being assessed and will be reported to the house in due course. In other cases recommendations made by the commission have already been put into effect by particular departments and agencies on the responsibility of individual ministers since volume I was received.

Senator McCutcheon, Minister without Portfolio, has been designated by the government as the minister responsible for the appraisal and implementation of the royal commission's reports. He will have the assistance of a special cabinet committee as well as treasury board, to which he is being appointed for this purpose. He will also be able to call on the assistance and advice of public servants as required in the detailed consideration of the means of carrying out what the government decides should be done.

Volume I of the reports, which contains many proposals involving legislative changes or transfers of responsibility, is being carefully studied by ministers. Priority is being given to report No. 2 on financial management, in which there appear to be many detailed recommendations capable of early implementation. There are as well a number of recommendations concerning the form and nature of the estimates in the public accounts that will require some consideration by the public accounts committee of the house as well as by the government as a whole.

As I stated on November 12, the government does not plan to reach final decision on the major recommendations of the royal commission concerning the functions of treasury board and the civil service commission

until the further volumes of these reports have been received and studied.

The report on paper work and systems management contains many pointed suggestions for improvements in the work of departments, many of which are within the present jurisdiction of the departments themselves without any need for enabling legislation or specific cabinet directives.

We agree with the commissioners that the federal government should be aggressive in the development of administrative techniques and efficient management practices so as to secure the substantial savings which would result. The commission has placed much emphasis on the need for training in management and administrative techniques and practices as a prerequisite for the attainment of these economies. We have accordingly asked the civil service commission to make an assessment as a matter of urgency of the persons skilled in this work presently available in the public service, and of the extent and nature of the training which would be needed to make possible the earliest inauguration of the programs required to fill the gaps.

The government expects individual ministers and departments to consider and implement on their own responsibility many of the detailed suggestions in this particular report on paper work and systems. It should be stressed that in many instances the commissioners have cited practices in a particular department or agency merely by way of illustration of a principle which is of general application. The reports will therefore be closely studied by all departments and agencies whether or not they have been particularly singled out for specific mention.

In the second volume, report No. 5 on real property and report No. 6 on purchasing and supply each includes major recommendations on the transfer of responsibilities which the government will consider shortly. We have, however, taken action on two recommendations. Immediate effect is being given to the commission's recommendation that the Department of Public Works develop and maintain a complete inventory of real property owned and leased by the federal government and its agencies. I would add that substantial progress has already been made with this. All departments, including the armed forces, have been directed to undertake a thorough going review of their stores control and buying practices in the light of the commission's comments and recommendations.

Report No. 7 on transportation makes a number of recommendations which are now being considered by ministers in particular departments concerned. We have decided to set up a traffic advisory group as the commission has proposed to advise on the move-

ment of government supplies and to carry out the duties suggested by the commission.

Report No. 8 on telecommunications poses complex problems concerning several ministers who are now reviewing these proposals. It is already clear, as the commissioners emphasized, that additional expert assistance is required in the co-ordination of government needs in the telecommunications field and the formulation of long range plans. We have accordingly decided to establish forthwith a central telecommunications planning unit in the Department of Transport for this purpose.

My colleagues and I see merit in the proposals in report No. 9 on printing and publishing. In particular we agree that outside printing firms should be given a better opportunity to compete on a fairer basis with the government printing bureau. I am given to understand one of the reports to be submitted in a few weeks time will have some bearing on the proposed role of the Queen's publisher, and we are therefore deferring action on the recommendation to establish such office until we see this further report.

As far as report No. 11 on legal services is concerned, I do not anticipate any difficulty in dealing promptly with the recommendations made.

As to report No. 10, on the make or buy problem, I may say that this raises issues of government policy as well as suggestions for a number of specific applications. In general I am in accord with the approach which underlies this report. It appears that there is much which can be done along the lines envisaged. As a first step the government has accepted the recommendation on page 330 that new facilities of the kind discussed be not established or old ones replaced without thorough consideration being given to the use of other government shops or outside suppliers. This has already been done in the case of the dominion lighthouse depot, to which the commission refers at page 328. Furthermore the government is asking all these departments and agencies to review the detailed proposals in this make or buy report and to submit their views and proposed actions on them.

Sir, this is, in general, a summary of the reports so far received, and is indicative of the action already taken and to be taken by the government. With leave of the house, as further progress is made statements can be made to the house, which I am sure is very interested in assuring the maximum of efficiency at all times in government administration, and also that degree of economy which, in no way restricting efficiency, can be achieved.

27507-3-135i

Glassco Commission Report

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Walter Lockhart Gordon

Liberal

Mr. Walter L. Gordon (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to comment on the statement of the Prime Minister about the reports of the Glassco commission, I should first like to join him in thanking the commissioners for the work they have been doing. Perhaps I might be permitted to say a special word of thanks to the chairman, who was my partner in our profession for over 20 years and whose son happens to be the father of my grandson. When I say that he was my professional partner for over 20 years, I should not like anyone to think that he and I agreed on political questions.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have some personal interest in the implementation of recommendations contained in the reports of royal commissions and in the long delays which frequently ensue before anything is done about them. I say this with some feeling, because it is now six years since the royal commission on Canada's economic prospects made certain recommendations that I noticed found their way into the speech from the throne at the beginning of this session. I hope it will not take as long a time as six years to do something effective about some of the recommendations of the Glassco commission. This does not mean that we on this side of the house endorse all of the recommendations of the Glassco commission; on the contrary, we have reservations about a number of the changes which are proposed. But we have been shocked, as I am sure the public has been shocked, by the evidence of waste, extravagance and inefficiency which has been reported by this commission.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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?

Some hon. Members:

When did they start?

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. One representative from each party is entitled to speak at this time, and I think we are quite prepared to hear him, uninterrupted.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Walter Lockhart Gordon

Liberal

Mr. Gordon:

I think, Mr. Speaker, it would be quite unfair to interpret these reports as a reflection upon the public officials who comprise the Canadian civil service, which is one of the best in the world. It is a serious reflection, however, on those who have been responsible for directing the work and the organization of the civil service, and I would remind hon. members that this has been the responsibility of the present government for almost six years.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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NDP

Harold Edward Winch

New Democratic Party

Mr. Winch:

And the Liberals for 22 years.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
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November 29, 1962