My opinion is that there
are no departments so antiquated as the public works department and the Post Office Department. They seem to have no business administration whatever; nobody seems to know anything about what anything costs or what it may cost. I have no more complaint to make of the present Minister of Public Works than of any of his predecessors. All of them appear to be imbued with the same spirit; they do not seem to know anything nor do they want to know anything. If they had a proper accounting system, as they should have, when the Post Office Department or any other department asked for a building of certain dimensions the public works department should be able to say, "That will cost you so much." Nothing is charged against the Post Office Department, and that department reports that it makes a million and a half dollars a year. It is charged nothing by the public works department for providing the cleaning, the extra men and the other services pertaining to the post office. I have repeatedly suggested to the committee that the public works department should charge against each department what it does for that department and so ascertain what that department is costing.
The hon. member for Davenport gave a good illustration of how things are operating at present. The system which heats this building goes under the justice building, yet a new heating system is supplied for that building alone. All the administration buildings should be under the same system, which could then be operated at half the cost that is required to-day. There is no study of economy. I find the same trouble with all the Postmasters General; they do not seem to know anything; they do not care to know anything; but I will say this, that the last Postmaster General was getting nearer to perfection than any other Postmaster General I ever knew. The first year he came here he knew nothing at all; the next year he improved. The third year he improved yet further and was able to give us a certain
amount of information. Now we have another Postmaster General starting in new, and I suppose he will not know much until he has been here for some years. I am not criticizing particularly the individual, but I say that the whole administration of this government is absolutely rotten to the core from the point of view of economy. I do not mean that there is any graft; I say that no consideration at all is given to administration from the point of view of economy.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS