I want to say a word in support of this Bill. Representing a city where we have been administering patronage for a long while, I want to say that if there is anything in my judgment that contributes to a lack of efficiency in the public service it is the administration of patronage as in the past. Hon. members have spoken in this House about their influence in reference to patronage. I have had to do in
an indirect way with, or have seen administered, the patronage system of Toronto pretty well in all the ridings, and I do not believe there is a' single member from the city of Toronto who has had the slightest voice in the distribution of the patronage there. It is Left to the various ward associations, and the member of Parliament is almost invariably constrained to support their recommendations. Sometimes he experiences considerable difficulty because there are men pulling one way and the other and he has to do the best he can in the dilemma. I heartily commend the Bill to- the House. We should be glad to get rid of the patronage question, which I contend this proposed Bill will do most effectively if it is thoroughly and properly lived up to. It is just like anything else in that proper methods must be adopted in carrying it out. You can talk about the administration of the Canadian Pacific railway or any other business organization, but to have efficiency you must have good men and hold them responsible. You must have' first class men in charge of the various branches of the Government and hold these men responsible for the 'administration if the proper results are to be forthcoming. If you have inefficient men administering the Act, I do not care what its provisions may be, the whole thing will fall down. It is up to the Government to see to it that the deputies are thoroughly qualified to administer their departments, and if this is done we will get the service that the country demands and expects. I realize quite fully, as has 'been illustrated upon the floor of this House to-night by the case cited by the hon. member for Kingston, that there is danger. If this matter does not receive the close scrutiny of the various members of the Government there may he developed in the city of Ottawa a bureaucratic officialdom which will be twenty times worse than the patronage system, bad as it is. We have had an illustration in the question asked by the hon. ex-Minister of Militia and Defence (Sir Sam Hughes), in reference to the Auditor-General, in reply to which there is on record on the Hansard of this House the statement that six or seven members of the Auditor General's own family have been provided for at comparatively lucrative salaries. An hon. gentleman stated that he was a Scotchman. I do not want to reflect on some of my hon. friends opposite, but somebody lias defined the Scotchman as a man who kept the Sabbath and everything else he could lay his hands on. This
gentleman, being a Scotchman, and true to bis principles, seems to be tenaciously bolding on to everything he can, and be seems to have a sort of family compact under bis own roof. I have no hesitation in saying, irrespective of what his nationality may be, that he is utterly unfitted for the public service if that is his idea of the proper administration and enforcement of the law in any department of the Government.
With reference to the question raised by the hon. member for Kingston, if the facts are as stated, I unhesitatingly say that it is the duty of the Government to dispense with that man's services without any further delay. We want the ministers to understand that they must instruct their departments to carry on the public service in such a way as to produce efficiency, and if they do they will toe supported by the country and toy the members of this House.
While I say that I want to add that there are some branches of the public service that are suffering. Reference has been made to the services of the postmen. The postmen are scandalously underpaid in the city of Toronto. You 'have postmen who have toeen working in the city of Toronto for ten or fifteen1 years receiving 1700 a year and trying to live and pay the high Tents of that city, something which is an absolute impossibility; you cannot do it in the large centres. The postmen should be well paid-every one working for the Government ought to toe well paid. If a man is efficient he ought to be promoted and he should know that from the time he enters the public service, and as long as he discharges the duties of his office faithfully, the country will appreciate and promote him and he will eventually receive the highest position available in the work in which he is engaged.
If you are going to put over his head people coming from outside, you will be doing something that will not contribute to the efficiency of the service, and I think that in this Bill the Civil Service Commission should be instructed to consider the appointment of local men to local positions as far as possible. There are cases where that is not possible, but if it is at all possible regard should be paid to that policy.
Now, with reference to the question of examinations. I have been conducting examinations of students for over thirty years, and I desire to say in reference to examinations in medicine, as illustrated1 in the colleges of this country, that if I wanted a man who was most impractical, the most
inefficient, as a rule, for practical work, I would take a student who had confined himself to preparing to pass an examination, and I would probably get the most impractical man I could possibly get for a practical job. I would twenty times rather have a man who had good common horse sense, integrity and alertness, and an eye which was pretty keen and cunning, and give that man charge of a department. In scholastic attainments-in reading, writing and arithmetic-he might be lacking and might probably not be able to do a single sum in quadratic equations or algebra, but he would make a mighty efficient, good public servant, and I think every corporation in the Dominion will bear me out when I give such testimony on the floor of this House.
Topic: CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.