March 27, 1915 (12th Parliament, 5th Session)

LIB

Alexander William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM:

From sessional papers, No. 159, page 41. I want to point out particularly with respect to Admiral Kingsmill's report that, in my judgment, he would have done much better had he got some further information than he seems to have secured down there. He says he met several of the people there; but what strikes me very forcibly is that, notwithstanding the fact that there is previous to this report a statement by the crew of the life-saving station setting forth the charges against this man Maillet, at the time when one of the officers of the department went down to investigate the case, those men had no complaint to make. I would think that if they had made a complaint-and I doubt it very much- against Mr. Maillet, when the officers of the department went down there, they should have been able to substantiate the charges. I find from the report of Admiral Kingsmill that they made no charges at all in his presence.
I find a report here from the Deputy Minister of Naval Affairs covering a communication which is addressed to Mr. Gallant. It points out again that the officers of the life-saving station, when called upon to give evidence, had no evidence to give.
I infer from the correspondence that the dismissal is the result of nothing more or less than a desire on the part of Mr. Gallant to dismiss the man whom he himself had appointed only a few months before. As to the politics of Mr. Maillet I know nothing. I had assumed that he was a strong Conservative and a supporter of Mr. Gallant. Evidently Mr. Gallant had suspicions, and the investigation of Admiral Kingsmill was to determine what the politics of this man were and not what his efficiency was.
I find a report by Admiral Kingsmill in which he says that he interviewed a certain gentleman down there, who, he says is the leading man in the community, and this gentleman told him that so far as he knew Mr. Maillet was as good a man as they were likely to get, but the opinion in this ease was that he was not loyal to the Government from whom he received his appointment. Here is another reference to this
man's politics. My only reason for bringing this before the committee is that I fear the virus of politics has been injected into this institution. I fear that there is very little prospect that this life-saving station can give the service which I hoped it would give. It is true, there was a little disturbance between these two men. But I can assure the minister that if he were down in Cheticamp, he would find an equally great disturbance between two other men; and I suppose the next thing will be the dismissal of more men because of this little difference that could have been settled simply by not listening to either party but insisting that each should do his duty in his position. I hope the minister will not give heed too readily to these representations made by men who are actuated, in my judgment, by no other desire than to give way to their political feelings. This is evident from the first page of the report to the last. I have taken up the time of the committee believing that the service may be benefited by the minister being placed in possession of the facts.

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