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

LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Why no, he was a Baptist. That is the reason they made him fishery inspector. This gentleman was appointed

Supply-Civil Service
for the service, at a good salary, without asking the Civil Service Commission to make the appointment, and now, although he is a clergyman, with very little experience in fishery matters, he is chief inspector for the three maritime provinces, and has his office in the city of Halifax. Yet, my hon. friends will rise to their feet with a straight and long face, and tell us they had nothing to do with patronage at all, did not make appointments, and that it was all done by the Civil Service Commission. I would not blame the commission for something I do myself. I would be proud to say I made certain appointments, if such were the case. In my county, a customs officer resigned about two years ago, and I recommended the name of a retired sea captain, who had two sons overseas, and who had fallen down and hurt himself very badly, and had to retire from the seas. He was a good man, had been going to sea for thirty years and had a family. I recommended him. Shortly afterwards I heard a good Conservative had been appointed, a man who had always worked for his party, and deserved anything his party could give him, but he was not appointed by the Civil Service Commission. He was appointed temporarily, to get over the objection which I would raise, and was kept on temporarily, until six months after, when they thought I would forget all about it. But when I came to Ottawa I found his appointment had been made permanent, without any reference to the Civil Service Commission. Yet these gentlemen sitting angularly opposite say they never made any dismissals or appointments. In Nova Scotia, out of
1,000 appointments made, even by the commission, within the last five years, I doubt very much if two Liberals have been appointed, and there is reason for it. I can understand it, and if I were on the commission, perhaps, I would do the same thing, but the fact is that, although I have nothing against the commission, there is no question that, in Nova Scotia, influences were brought to bear on the commission, or on one of the members of the commission, with the result that the Tories all got jobs. _ _
In conclusion, my candid opinion is that, in order to get an efficient Civil Service, there must be a housecleaning. I am told there are some 52,000 civil servants all over Canada. In 1911 there were 14,000 and these 52,000 are doing the same work now which the 14,000 did formerly, or very little more work. Everybody knows, whether it is here in Ottawa or out in the country
districts, there are too many officials altogether. We must have rural postmasters, and certain officials, but everybody knows that, in most of the offices, instead of having one man to do the work they have two, and sometimes three or four. We know they may get small salaries, and, as the hon. member from Marquette (Mr. Crerar) said, it would be far better to arrange to give one man a good salary to do the work, and let the other two or three go on a farm, or on a fishing boat, or wherever they could get employment.
We must have a house-cleaning. After looking over the Estimates and seeing the very large amount of money-I think it is some $120,000,000-paid to officials, I think it is about time this Government did better than the late government did. They have a great work to do if they will properly rearrange matters as regards the Civil Service and public employees. Millions of dollars can be saved by this Government if the ministers and their deputies have a housecleaning. They should do that, and they should pay men properly for their services. I also say that the Civil Service Commission should be allowed to fill appointments in the inside service, because they are qualified to do that. They are here on the spot; they can hold examinations; they can find out about a person's character and all his qualifications, and I am quite sure that that should be done. With regard to the outside service, as the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) says, it is both expensive and not the right and proper way to fill such vacancies, because there is a delay, a great delay in some cases, the public interest suffers in the meantime, and after somebody recommends a candidate to the Civil Service Commission, neither the Civil Service Commission nor the Government know whether that person is suitable for the position or not. Therefore, I say that putting politics aside-and as I said before, I do not want to have the appointment of these officials-I feel, as a member of Parliament, it is my duty to help the Government to get an efficient service, and that I should not shirk my duty, but should endeavour to give my knowledge of matters ir. my constituency and any information which I May have to the minister or his deputy. Therefore, in the best interest of the country, from a business standpoint, the right and proper thing to do is for the Civil Service Commission or the Government to divorce themselves from the outside service and to give to
Supply-Civil Service

members of Parliament the right to appointments in the outside service in all the constituencies. As a result members will feel that they have some responsibility, and whether appointments be Liberal or Conservative, I feel quite sure that, realizing their responsibility, the members, in every case, or in nearly every case, will appoint good men who will give good service to the country, and who will be satisfactory to the department.

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