March 11, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Samuel Hughes



Mr. Speaker, T
regret that my physical condition is such that I must curtail my remarks to-day. Possibly it is just as well, as I understand that the House is unanimously in favour of that part of the resolution: which deals with the Outside Service^ Besides, the authority of these medical advisers is inexorable; I have to bow to their orders. I do not propose to take up in any very great detail the subject matter of this resolution. I may point out, however, that during the war-and if I tread on anyone's corns I hope I will be pardoned, for I am taking a view of the matter from a little distance-fads of all descriptions were foisted on the public. We had the food control; we had the fuel control; we had the Board of Commerce; we had the labour movement agitation; we had the Grain Growers' movement; we had the U.F.O. movement; we have had liquor movements of various kinds, both ways; we have had the railway movement. Last, but by no means least, we have had the fad of taking the Outside Service in with the Inside Service and tightening up the Inside Service so as to make it as close a corporation as ever existed. Then, there were a thousand and one other freaks of a people carried away from their usual stability of thought and action. It was useless to try to stop such movements. Some freak or faddist, under the guise of democracy, would proclaim his fad, and forthwith it would assume definite form and be fastened on the public in direct contradiction of every principle of responsible government. The strange part of all this is that we were making war on Germany because of her

autocracy, and yet every precaution pertaining to responsible government was directly and ruthlessly thrown to the winds in the carrying out of these activities. This applies not to Canada alone, but to Britain and to France as well.
As I have said, among other fads forced on the public by uplifters was the bringing of the Outside Service under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. In a nutshell, the rule adopted was that the Secretary of the Civil Service Commission would override the member of Parliament who was directly responsible to the people-although, for generations the member of Parliament had had the nomination of appointees in his riding- and would communicate with some local kindred faddist who was not responsible to the people-some personal friend possibly; some uplifter with no judgment in appointments of this kind. I could give various instances; I have a list of instances where the member of Parliament would know nothing about the matter until he found a man in office, and upon tracing it up he would find that the nomination had been made by some local uplifter or some gentleman who meant well possibly, but the member would have no say in the matter at all. I could give other instances in which the member's orders were overridden by the Civil Service Commission in connection with these appointments. It is not necesary that I should go into the details; others may do that. Instances by the score-indeed, by the hundred- are well known where the first the member of Parliament would know of an appointment would be to find the man in office, placed there by the manipulation of some clerk in the Civil Service Commission. Under the former rule, not only was the member of Parliament held responsible for the Outside Service; he was consulted also in respect to appointments in the Inside Service. This is not generally understood. I can well remember that, in Sir John Macdonald's time, members of Parliament were always consulted in regard to appointments, not only to the Outside Service, but to the Inside Service as well, and I think it is only proper that they should be. Most assuredly members of the Government should have full control. Under present conditions, I understand a deputy minister can tell a minister that he will not bow to his ruling; that he will not accede to his recommendations, but do as he has a mind

to; under this cast iron law that has been placed on the statute book. I can well remember, in Sir John Macdonald's time, one member having the patronage for his own riding not only made appointments in the Outside Service, but also through the minister concerned, made appointments of his fair share of the Inside Service. He was also very active in helping other members with their appointments in the Inside Service. On one occasion when he recommended an appointment for the Inside Service, he was quietly shown that he had far exceeded his number, and he was amazed to find that his recommendations in support of other member's nominations were all charged up to himself. I mention this merely to show that in those days the Inside Service, the best the country has ever had, was recognized by Sir John Macdonald as belonging to the member of Parliament through the minister immediately concerned. I want it distinctly understood that the minister immediately concerned and the member of Parliament should be responsible for appointments to the Outside Service, and if the member of Parliament does not make a proper recommendation, then the minister will be absolutely justified in declining to accept that member's nomination.
Objections have been raised to members of Parliament having anything to do with the Inside Service, and the chief objection comes from members for constituencies in and around Ottawa. In the old days, the two members for Ottawa (Mr. Fripp and Mr. Chabot) had a hard time of it, and I expect the action of the people in rushing to those members by hundreds for jobs was responsible for bringing on this change. Under this resolution, that will be quite unnecessary. I claim, as representing the riding of Victoria, that I am as much entitled as any of the members for Ottawa or the constituencies immediately adjoining, to make recommendations for appointments in the Inside Civil Service in this city, and that I am entitled to give the young gentlemen and ladies in my constituencies who wish- to make the Civil Service their vocation in life, an opportunity of doing so. Therefore, some system that would bring that condition of affairs about should be adopted. I am a firm believer in the powers of the House of Commons and of Parliament, and I would suggest the advisability of appointing a committee of this House to investigate the Civil Service Commission and

the Civil Service, as a whole, session after session, taking their time and forming a committee in conjunction with some officers of the Civil Service. At the present time, if a clerk has some disability placed on him or if he has some grievance, no opportunity whatever, short of an appeal through friends on the side-and that does not amount to anything-is given him of having his grievance redressed. There should therefore, be some responsible body, -mark you, I believe all these public bodies should be responsible to the people, I do not believe in close commissions at all-to whom such clerks and other members of the Civil Service who have grievances could apply, and to whom application could be made in case of persons improperly promoted in a department. I have a mass of correspondence in regard to this matter, but I will not use it. I will, however, mention the case of one clerk who had been working at a salary of $900 a year or so ago, and who is now receiving a salary of three or four thousand dollars and is controlling, without any special education or qualification, the appointments of men who ate infinitely his superior in education, tact and judgment. Under present conditions, all this sort of thing goes on and there is no redress. The cast-iron rule of the inside Civil Service stands in the way, and the matter cannot be adjusted. I understand that even some of the senior civil servants have had the temerity to tell members high up in the Cabinet that they decline to permit them to interfere in matters of that kind; that such matters belong to those civil servants entirely.
There are just two forms of human government-trust and mistrust. I do not want to be personal or to hark back, but I might just point this out in that regard. It may be remembered, that in 1915, and up to the first of March, 1916, I had the honour or raising 375,000 soldiers;-I had the honour of raising upwards of 450,000 altogether. When we started the system of groups, little bunches of soldiers, twenty-five here, fifty there, and so on throughout the country, some of my colleagues, very wise men, and many outside people, came to me and said: " But how are you going to control these soldiers?" I said: " In the name of Heaven, who controls them now? They know the way home at night; they know how to go to bed; they know how to conduct themselves properly as gentlemen, without the uniform, and when they don the uniform, with all the honour and
pride involved in that action, they are going to behave themselves like gentlemen." These people wanted special officers appointed to control these soldiers; but in the whole Dominion, there was not a solitary police court case worthy of being a police court case out of those 375,000 men during the six months in that year. I have never been afraid to trust the people or members of Parliament in their appointments. I have never known a bad appointment made in my constituency through either my recommendation or that of my opponent when he had the honour of representing the riding, during the time when members of Parliament under the old rule had the privilege of recommending appointments to the Outside Service. You must have something directly responsible to the people, and the member of Parliament is the only one man who can be held responsible. The uplifter, the clergyman, the private wire-puller, are not responsible to the people, and they cannot be reached as can members of Parliament.
The various forms of irresponsibility are autocracy such as the Kaiser's; those fads such as food controls; labour agitators; Grain Growers and U.F.O. organizations. I trust the gentlemen representing the U.F.O. and the Grain Growers will not take my remarks amiss; the point I want to make in connection with them is that they do not represent the principle of responsible Government; they have no settled policy of human government other than what is based on a negative quality. In other words, it is not trust; it is mistrust. I am making these remarks in all kindness. Other forms of irresponsibility are ultramontane and uplifting churches; Bolshevism and all kindred organizations, where the consent of the people as a whole does not control. Under responsible government, good results have always followed, whereas under Civil Service government results have always been bad. I have lists showing the inferior class of some of the appointments made under the Civil Service Commission, although the people do not hear about such appointments. I can give one instance in which three fellows who were appointed committed misdemeanors, and when they were about to be arrested, they skipped out. You never hear of the crooks appointed under this system. I remember in one case a member of Parliament protested against the appointment of a man, but certain clergymen interfered and the man, a noted scalawag, and reprobate, was ap-

pointed over the recommendation of the member and over the recommendations of men in the riding and elsewhere of other and better men. I could give dozens of instances of that kind. Under responsible, government you can get a high class of men. If you look back to the old days, you will see the best men, graduates of universities, getting positions, whereas now little boys and girls get them and the big men of the country cannot find positions in the Civil Service the same as they did under the old system of responsible government appointments. No govternment can be a compromise, nor a combination of responsible government and autocracy.
I will cut my remarks short because I know the House is familiar with this question. Permit me to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the Prime Minister for arranging to give me this opportunity of addressing a few words to the House to-day, and also for your kindness in giving me a place near the centre of the Chamber.

Full View