Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):
Let me read the items that go to make up the 8108,847.50:
Transferred from the fCommission
of Conservation (10) $19,902 50
Transferred from Board of Pension
Commissioners (1) 3,360 00
I do not know at the moment, but I presume the Government who passed the Order in Council did know for what purpose those ten individuals were transferred to the Department of the Interior, because they passed the Order in Council in July and transferred ten people.
The next item is Board of Pension Commissioners (1) $3,360, statutory increases make up $52,737.50, increases due to reclassification $55,418.50, less appointments at minimum to fill vacancies $22,571. And I am told that where retirement or superannuation takes place the office is filled at the minimum salary, and not at the maximum, so that what my hon. friend has just been pointing out does take place, but the position has been filled at the minimum salary, which requires $22,571, making up $108,847.50. That, I claim, is uncontrollable, unless the argument is used that the staff of the department be reduced, and I stated three or four times that I have not gone into that matter. I frankly confess that. But let me tell the hon. gentleman from Marquette (Mr. Crerar) that I will go into it. I think it would be presumptuous on the part of any one who has been in a department of this size for a period of a few months or six weeks to say he knows all about it, and that he would know which services could be dispensed with and which were absolutely required. I have absolute confidence in the ability of my predecessor to run the department, and I presume he required all the service I found there when I took office. I agree most thoroughly with the hon. gentleman from Marquette. I know that in the provincial government of the provinces during the period of the war, and undoubtedly in this Government, it was found incumbent upon the members of the Government to increase the payments to the staff, and they have been increased very materially. Not only was it found incumbent to increase them, but it was found incumbent to pay bonuses, and the cost of civil government has increased enormously. There is no doubt that, in conjunction with other services in Canada, the cost of government will have to come down, and that will be part of the business of this Government.
Subtopic: PRIVATE BILLS