March 22, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal


involves the expenditure of a dollar except for the purposes of war, we are establishing this new department with all that it involves. I remember well, when the present Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. A. K. Maclean), as the financial critic on this side of the House, before he struck the trail for Damascus, was loud in his criticism as to the expenditure in conneet;on with these departments, but now he is not satisfied evidently with all the money he tan spend in the old departments, but must create new ones in order to have fresh fields for his new zeal as a convert to the faith of hon. gentlemen on the other side. I think it is only fair to the country, and fair to the Government, that it should be pointed out that we have had no explanation why this new department was created. It has not been explained to this House in any way whatsoever why the Department of the Interior was not able to look after this busi-ness* It would appear to me the trouble was this: the Prime Minister wanted a new government; he wanted to take in new blood, and he would not take it in without making places for it, and his heart was too tender, he was too much attached to his dear old friends of the dear old times to have them removed, and therefore he took his carving knife and began to cut and carve the departments in order to make room for his friends. That is the only necessity that I can see. I do not think that is any justification. In the old land, when like circumstances arose, Premier Asquith made room for new blood by, getting some of his old ministers to go out. There is no record in Great Britain where any department was out in two to provide new portfolios. But here, whenever anybody was put out, it was done in a way in which almost anvbodv would like to go out. The ex-Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Hon. Mr. Hazen, for instance, became chief justice of the province of New Brunswick at a salary of $7,000 .a year, a very high position indeed. Almost anybody would be willing to go out under conditions of that kind. And going right down through the list, that is the sort of sacrifice that has been made by hon. gentlemen who left the Government. I strongly protest against this creation or splitting of departments when the business of the country does not require it, merely for the purpose of feathering a nest for foreign birds that wish to go into the Government.
Bill reported.

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