I think I am in duty bound to endorse the remarks of the hon. member for St. Anne (Mr. Doherty), as to the salary which is proposed to be paid to the collector of customs at Montreal. The importance of that port cannot be compared with any other port, and the efficiency of the services of the present incumbent is too well known for me to venture .to add anything to what has been said of the character of the work which has been performed for years past by the present incumbent. On account of the importance of the port of Montreal, on account of the efficiency of the service which has been done, and which is being done by Mr. White, the present incumbent, and on account of the cost of living in Montreal, I think that a salary of $6,000 should be considered the least which should be paid to the present collector. It is all very well to Propose general rules and general schedules of salaries for all over the country, but I think that the case of the port of Montreal is a very exceptional one, and the general schedule should not be made applicable to that port. There should be a proviso added to the resolution under which by way of order in council, the government could, after due consideration, in some way increase the remuneration of the present collector of customs at Montreal to at least $6,000. This view is held by all the people of Montreal, especially by the large importers. It is well known that the imports entered at the port of Montreal exceed $16,000,000 per year, which certainly warrants our paying a salary to the collector of that port of at least $6,000.
On that question, I would ask the Minister of Customs if he intends this session introducing legislation for the purpose of creating the office of deputy or assistant-collector. The creation of such an office has been asked for by quite a number of the large importers of Montreal, and it would go a long way to expedite the business of the port, and meet the convenience of the city. I think that a petition was sent to the Department of Customs asking the minister to create such an office, and I would like to know if he proposes doing so this Mr. DOHERTY.
session. I would again urge on the hon. minister to add another resolution to those proposed which would enable the government by order in council to grant to the collector of customs in the port of Montreal a salary somewhat adequate to the important position he holds, the efficient service he is rendering, and the increased cost of living. Such increase, I am sure, would prove to be fair and popular.