April 22, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)


Before the clause as amended is carried I wish to consider the first four lines of section 4. When this board is organized and vested with the property and works of the seven existing harbour commissions it will be, next to the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific Railway, the third largest national corporation in the Dominion of Canada. Its employment will at times run into many scores and hundreds of employees who will really be in the service of the government of Canada, just as much in the service of the Dominion of Canada as the five hundred employees of the printing bureau under the Department of the Secretary of State which in itself is a separate and independent bureau or board but is nevertheless a branch of one of the departments of government just as this board inevitably will be one of the branches of a department of government. This bill provides that the three gentlemen who are appointed commissioners shall have complete control of the employment of all other officers, clerks and employees which they may deem necessary for the proper conduct of its business. This board will fix their remuneration and other terms of their employment, and I suggest that if the former system led to patronage and improper admin-

National Harbours Board
istration for political and partisan purposes, this bill is surcharged three times with the same prospective evils. It is an attempt, and a deliberate attempt, of the government to secure the employment of scores and hundreds of persons who will not be subject to the civil service regime or to examination and appointment by the civil service commission. I know the government have a majority and they may put it through, but I call attention to the fact that this is a flagrant violation of civil service principles to which successive governments have adhered in the past.

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