Hon. L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).
(Translation). I did not intend speaking on this question, but after listening to certain remarks made by the hon. member for Vaudreuil (Mr. Boyer), concerning the manner in which some contracts are carried out, I deem it my duty to say a word.
A few years since, as hon. gentlemen will remember, the House discussed again and again the desirability ot changing the practice then followed in regard to boarding the men working for the Department of Marine. That question came up several times, and finally the unanimous opinion of the House seemed to favour "the idea of the department granting a contract to some employee who would undertake to board the men and all the passengers sojourning on the vessels. The outcome was altogether satisfactory. We concluded with the stewards on the various vessels an arrangement whereby we paid them an amount of 50 cents per head per day for the men composing the crew, and 60 cents for the officers. The result has been most satisfactory. I received the other day a report showing that last year a saving of several thousand dollars had been affected in this way.
The hon. member for Vaudreuil has given to understand that in one particular instance the steward had not paid for the supplies received from various points. I am very sorry to hear so. I only wish the hon. member were in his seat just now, and I regret he has been obliged to leave the House, temporarily. However, he will read what I said in 'Hansard.' Had he been here, I would have asked him to give me the name of that man, and if he is still in our employ, I will surely see to it that
these suppliers are paid, otherwise he will not be kept on.
As regards the Bill introduced by the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe (Mr. Beau-parlant), I agree with him. I know, and it has been stated to me on several occasions, that civil servants as a rule are in favour of such a measure. When I say that civil servants are in favour of such a measure I mean those who have no reason to fear the putting in force of such an enactment. I know that in the province of Ontario, in Ottawa, for instance, the same difficulties are not met with as in the province of Quebec, as here, the law provides a means whereby a creditor may to a certain extent, and in an indirect manner, lay hands on the salary of the government employee.
As regards the province of Quebec, it is a different matter. We have a law providing that salaries of local government employees may be garnisheed not wholly, but in part, as stated a moment ago by the hon. member for Quebec county (Mr. Tur-cotte). It is much to be desired that such a measure should be voted by this parliament in respect to Dominion government employees so as to oblige them to pav their just debts.
Subtopic: SALARIES OF CIVIL SERVANTS.