Suppose we admit, for the sake of argument, that it would have been wiser that these things should have been brought down in the Main Estimates. Having dealt with that point, let us now consider the merits of the question. If we need a deputy-minister in this country and if a man is capable of filling that office, a salary of $8,000 a year is not too much to pay him. If he has had long service added to his merit and strength of character, $8,000 is not too much. The trouble is, I think, that in our higher positions we do not pay men enough, and men are therefore being drawn away from the service of Canada and taken into private service because we cannot pay them enough.
I have a case in mind of a man I should very well like to have had in the service of my department. I could not keep him because the ordinary custom of the House would not allow me to give him a proper salary, but he went to another place and received twice as much as he could get here. We must pay some regard to the dignity of this office, tc the importance of the duties. But my hon. friend must have found in his day that it was exceedingly difficult to distinguish. The law fixes the salaries of nearly all the deputies at one figure. When I came into the department first the deputies, with one or two exceptions, received $3,200 a year. Their salaries have been advanced from time to time and, I think, with regard to the changes that have taken place, the increases in all lines, $8,000 is not too much to pay a deputy if he is competent and has had ten years' service. Length of service is entitled to some consideration. I do not know how you can discriminate. You cannot make the minister of any department believe that the position of his deputy is inferior to that of any other. We all magnify our offices a little. The minister magnifies his and the deputy magnifies his. I know there are differences; I know there are some departments which are much heavier than others, but it is by no means an easy thing to distinguish between them. As regards the increase, I do not know any deputy who is getting $8,000 a year who is not deserving of that amount if he is capable of filling the office.
Topic: IMPERIAL CONFERENCE