William Stevens FIELDING

FIELDING, The Right Hon. William Stevens, P.C.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
November 24, 1848
Deceased Date
June 23, 1929
Website
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=89103d9d-627c-4f56-8113-57b0d3865982&Language=E&Section=ALL
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=89103d9d-627c-4f56-8113-57b0d3865982&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
correspondent, editor, journalist

Parliamentary Career

August 5, 1896 - October 9, 1900
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 20, 1896 - October 6, 1911)
November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 20, 1896 - October 6, 1911)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 20, 1896 - October 6, 1911)
  • Minister of Railways and Canals (April 9, 1907 - August 29, 1907)
October 31, 1906 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 20, 1896 - October 6, 1911)
  • Minister of Railways and Canals (April 9, 1907 - August 29, 1907)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 20, 1896 - October 6, 1911)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
UNI L
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (December 29, 1921 - September 4, 1925)
January 19, 1922 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Shelburne and Queen's (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (December 29, 1921 - September 4, 1925)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 2289)


June 30, 1923

Right Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to be permitted to add a word. Busily engaged as I have been in other things, I have not had an opportunity to pay as much attention to this very important question of pensions for soldiers as I desire, and I do not wish to discuss anything that has happened as between the pension commissioners and others. But I ask permission to say a word or two from my personal experience, not so much as a minister, as a member of parliament. Many of my constituents had, as they thought, claims against the Pension board, and like other members, I received complaints. In every instance when I went to the Pension board I am satisfied I received from Colonel Thompson and his associates absolute justice. I say that in strict justice to them. I have the highest respect for Colonel Thompson, and while he may have erred in some of these matters, from my personal knowledge of him, representing as I did a number of people in my constituency who had complaints which they desired to have considered, I can say that he brought to the performance of his duty a high sense of responsibility that bore testimony to his eminent qualification for the position he fills.

Topic:   PENSION ACT AMENDMENT SENATE AMENDMENTS
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June 30, 1923

Right Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate more deeply than words can express the great kindness which is shown to me to-day by the members of the House. Politics has its troubles, its trials and its strife, but it has its pleasant s\ide, and it is always a pleasure for me to think that amidst the hard fighting of politics-and I have had my share-I have always had the happy fortune of enjoying 1 leasant relations with the men who have differed from me as well as with those who iiave given me loyal support. I think it is quite possible to fight one's battles in an honourable way, to do the right thing for your own side believing you are doing it for the country, and at the same time win the respect and confidence even of those who differ from you. I shall not say any more ihan to express to my right hon. friend, the leader of the Opposition-with whom I have c ccasion once in a while to cross swords-to my hon. friend the leader of the Progressives, to my colleague from Nova Scotia, to my hon. friend also who last spoke representing another party, and last but not least to my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, how deep a pleasure their cvarm appreciation has given me. I thank them sincerely for their good words.

Topic:   REVISED
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June 29, 1923

Mr. FIELDING:

No. His challenge was: " When did a government bring down Supplementary Estimates like this in the last week?"

Topic:   HARBOURS AND RIVERS
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June 29, 1923

Mr. FIELDING:

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
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June 29, 1923

Mr. FIELDING:

Might I add a word of comment on the first part of the speech of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen)? He said that it is an affront to parliament and the Canadian people to bring down estimates of this character at this late stage. I wonder if the word "effrontery" is a matter of parliamentary privilege. I am afraid it is not, and therefore I shall have to substitute a more moderate word. If I were not so familiar with the methods of my right hon. friend in dealing with public questions in this House, I would be amazed at the audacity of the statement he made to-day. The right hon. gentleman waxed indignant in the words he uttered to-day, and he repeated what he said a few days before in the evening when these estimates came down. 'He said "I

Supply-Harbours and Rivers

would like the minister to tell where in the history of Canada"-a pretty large story- "estimates of that magnitude were ever brought down in the last week of the session." If my right hon. friend had been here last night, he would have had the information which he apparently had neglected to obtain. He is indignant because we in these last days of the session have brought down estimates of $15,000,000. In the last session of the government of my right hon. friend, the session of 1921, and in the last week of that session, to use the very words he used, they brought down estimates of $23,000,000. At that time the Main Estimates were not all through the House, but that point is not important. According to the records, the message was brought down on a Monday, but, as a matter of fact, it was brought down in the email hours of Tuesday morning, according to my information, and the House prorogued on Saturday. They used all the machinery to Growd those estimates through the House. What can the country think of the right hon. gentleman who, in parliament, is virtuously indignant because we bring down estimates amounting to $15,000,000, and who challenges anybody to show anything of the kind in the history of Canada, when the record shows that he brought down in the last week of the session of 1921 estimates amounting to $23,000,000. It is things like this which prevent the public from having confidence in the statements of the right hon. gentleman. It is his utterly reckless manner of discussing public affairs which has tended to discredit him and to put him in the position which he now occupies.

Let me again repeat what the Prime Minister (Mr. Makenzie King) said the other day. There is no desire to rush these estimates through. If this House desires time to consider them, time shall be given, so far as the government is concerned. There will be no closure to crowd these estimates through, there will 'be no coercion-nothing that is not consistent with the principles of sound parliamentary government and free discussion. But when the right hon. gentleman indignantly challenges anyone to show when, in the history of all Canada, a government had brought down estimates of this magnitude in the last week of a session, and I point out the fact that, in the last week of the session of 1921, he brought down estimates amounting to $23,000,000, I think the right hon. gentleman will come to the conclusion that, perhaps, he had better think before he speaks.

Topic:   HARBOURS AND RIVERS
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