June 20, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


Arthur John Lewis



I wish to say that I am
opposed to this section entirely; it is simply making a wagon track through the Civil Service Act. Every argument that was advanced here could be applied with equal force to many other cases in the Civil Service. There are hundreds of men in the Civil Service to-day, patriotic and self-sacrificing enough to give their services to the country at the present time, who would receive probably twice the remuneration they now get if they were working for a private corporation. To argue that the illustration only applies to this particular instance is an absurdity to say the least. We have the evidence that not in one instance have the Board of Grain Commissioners applied in vain to the Civil Service Commission where an increase in salary was considered necessary; and we hav6 not had one instance brought before us this afternoon showing that any one man has relinquished his position because his salary was inadequate. I can readily understand the position we are going to get into if what is proposed here is carried out. A minister will say he is responsible and ought to have the right to make appointments. I was at the sittings of the special committee that inquired into the civil service and I never heard of a single case where a department did not set up that claim. Such being the case we, the members in this corner of the House ought to come out and show where we stand on this question. There seems to be no manner of doubt that any recommendations on the part of the Board of Grain Commissioners to the Civil Service Commission intended to raise the standard of efficiency have been accepted by that body. If the standard of efficiency is not high enough, who is to blame? The standard should be raised in order to see if we cannot get more efficient men. If we do get competent men, I am quite sure the salary paid will be commensurate with their ability.

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