June 16, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Duff



Angularly opposite, yes. It is remarkable, Sir, for one of my political experience to listen to-night to the innocent young member from Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) in his effort to impress upon us the fact that he had never recommended, during his brief political career, any one for appointment in the government service. Of course, that may be quite true, but you will remember, Sir, that in the next breath he told us that every Liberal member who had represented the constituency before him had been deluged with applications for positions and that his Liberal friends had always been appointed. It might be interesting if the hon. gentleman had told us why this change came over the constituency of Fort William and Rainy River immediately after he was elected; because the hon. member said that from that day henceforth there was no political appointments in that county, nor was he bothered by either his political friends or his political enemies. We had a sort of experience meeting on the part of my hon. friends who comprise the National Liberal and Conservative party; every minute or two they were jumping up here and there and denying assertions made by hon. gentlemen on this side. When the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) stated that after the election of 1911 wholesale dismissals were made in this country, these hon. members, one after the other, got up and denied that there had been any dismissals in their constituencies. It will go down in history, Sir, that when the Tory government came into power there
were in this country, in the rural districts, in the urban districts, even in the city of Ottawa-scattered all over the Dominion, there was a total number of some 14,000 officials. It is well known that practically the whole of these 14,000 were dismissed within a year after the Tories came into power, and in their place were put, not
14,000 Conservatives, though personally I would have no objection to their replacing the Liberals who had been dismissed with their political friends. But what did they do? They dismissed 14,000, and they appointed 26,000 to do the same work. Of course, everybody knows that the men who were dismissed must have been so superior to the ones appointed in their place that it took two of the new men to do one man's work. It is a well known fact that these dismissals were wholesale in character. In the county of Guysborough, in the province of Nova Scotia, a letter came one day to the postmaster in one of the country districts telling him he had been dismissed from his office and that another person had been appointed in hi3 stead. He read the letter and said to himself, "I do not know anybody of that name around here." So he consulted his wife, and they held a council of war and called in the neighbours. The postmaster, of course, from his position, knew everybody in the district, but neither he nor his wife nor any of the neighbours could remember any person by that name. At last the lady of the house had a very bright idea. "I do remember a man of that name," she said "who died about nine years ago." The postmaster, who was a bit of a wag, said, "Well then, the best thing we can do is to gather up the stamps and the rest of the paraphernalia, bundle it up and take it out to the graveyard and leave the bundle on his grave," and they did that. That is the way the Tories dismissed officials in 1912. The hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River said that there were no dismissals in his section of the country by the Tory government, and the hon. member for South Simcoe also said the same thing with respect to his riding. Why Mr. Chairman, I hold in my hand Hansard of session of 1912-1913, and if you will turn to page XIV of the index you will find five columns referring to questions put on the Order Paper that session by members of Parliament with regard to dismissals by the Tory government. Yet they say they did not dismiss anybody. Here are five whole columns, I presume about three or four hundred ques-

Supply-Civil Service
tions relating to dismissals by the Tory government, and that would be only a very small proportion of the total number of dismissals.

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