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

LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

If my hon. friend would possess his soul in patience I might recite to him a tale which he will not like to hear. However, I am not going to pay any more attention to my hon. friend's interruptions. So long, Mr. Chairman, as you keep from the heads of departments the right to recognize efficiency and ability in their staff, just so long are you putting a damper upon ambition, which must inevitably be followed by indifference and lack of efficiency, which in turn will necessitate the appointment of more officials to carry on the work.
What about the Civil Service Commission's method of ascertaining the qualifications of a person for a particular position? Some few years ago the late Union Government, so called, required in the Department of Agriculture-I do not know whether the ex-minister (Mr. Tolmie) was then presiding over it-an apple inspector for the county of Hants, and advertised for applicants. Several returned soldiers applied, but the commission appointed a custom tailor in the town of Windsor, although he did not know a Gravenstein from a Russet. When that man found what were the duties of an apple inspector he wrote to the department that he was not qualified to discharge the duties-and that after the Civil Service Commission had deemed him qualified! I am not advocating a return to political patronage, because I know that where a member recommends someone for a particular job he disappoints probably ten or twelve others who are also seeking it. But I claim the system is wrong. We must evolve a system which will give to the people better qualified officials who will render efficient service, and to this end the deputy ministers and ministers of de-

Supply-Civil Service
partments should have some measure of control at least over their staff.

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