Mr. D. B. PLUNKETT (Victoria, B.C.):
Before the vote is taken on this motion there are a few words that I wish to say. First, I want to thank the hon. member for Belle-chasse (Mr. Boulanger) for the way he introduced this bill, because he stated clearly and definitely its objects. That makes the discussion much easier. He said that the bill has four objects in view: First, to place the outside civil service beyond the control of the civil service commission, and, second, to make it obligatory for the civil service commission to consult heads of departments before making appointments or promotions, in order that the last word in making such appointments or promotions may be with the heads of departments and not with the commission. I would ask hon. members when considering this bill to have regard to the citizens and taxpayers, the people of Canada. There are millions of taxpayers many of whom are in areas in which there are hardly any civil servants, but they contribute to the salaries of the civil service, and they look to the civil service of Canada to be above politics. When they have occasion to visit any public office I am glad to say that for the most part they are received by the civil servants there with courtesy and given what information they need, and they usually find the civil service capable.
But if this bill is passed in its present form and the objects as described by the hon. member who introduced it are achieved, what will be the result? The bill means definitely that the minister of each department will make the appointments; no other meaning can be taken from it. I feel sorry for the ministers, for, peculiar as it may seem, Conservatives have sometimes a little sympathy with Liberal ministers, as I hope at times Liberals have with Conservative ministers. After trying for fifteen or twenty years to build up an efficient civil service in this country, why should we tear it down completely and destroy it and
Civil Service Act
cause the people of Canada to lose their faith and confidence in parliamentary measures?
This bill deals with promotion. It would mean that many civil servants who had hoped to work their way up in the service would see someone brought in from the outside-
Topic: CIVIL SERVICE ACT