June 23, 1920 (13th Parliament, 4th Session)

UNION

John Hampden Burnham

Unionist

Mr. BURNHAM:

Pardon me, the member for Three Rivers (Mr. Bureau) is strongly in favour of an increased indemnity,-and he is a man who is not afraid to say what he thinks. He has a great deal of business to attend to. He knows what he is talking about, and he knows that $1,200 a year, the annual value of our indemnity, is an insult and not a remuneration. The member for Red Deer has spoken to me on the subject with very considerable heat, and he has told me that he would at the first possible occasion speak in favour of an increased indemnity to the best of his ability. He thinks that the remuneration as it is now is an impossibility. I know a great many other members on this side who no doubt will voice their own opinions.
But, as somebody said, there has been a nigger in the fence. Why is it that the leaders have not been able to get together and decide this, question? One day the rumour going around this House would be

that the Prime Minister was "all right"- originally he was against it; that the leader of the Oposition had been persuaded to look leniently upon this, in view of the fact that he himself gets a very respectable salary,-and I am very glad he does. Many members of the Farmers.' party have spoken to me strongly in favour of this proposition, and I understand that not less than seventy-five per cent of them are strongly in favour of the increase of this indemnity. I am sure, as I said before, that ninety-five per cent of the members of this House, from explanations that are being made, are in favour of the suggested increase.
I am making this introduction of the matter to-night because I feel- that there has rested upon the members of this House an odium which should be removed by an explanation to the public of the cause; and it cannot be removed by such an explanation because it is founded upon an absolute necessity. None of us are beggars. We do not want to beg, nor do we want to grab, but we have reached this stage that, as. I say, we cannot keep up that little station- in life which a public servant is required to keep up, for he has got to be decent in his little subscriptions and things of that sort, and he has got to live in two or three places at once-

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF MEMBERS OF PUBLIC -SERVICE.
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