D'Arcy Britton PLUNKETT

PLUNKETT, D'Arcy Britton

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Victoria (British Columbia)
Birth Date
January 1, 1872
Deceased Date
May 3, 1936
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D'Arcy_Plunkett
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=d97e82c8-e7dd-42d9-99de-d098424d60e7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
ironworker

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1928 - May 30, 1930
CON
  Victoria (British Columbia)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Victoria (British Columbia)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CON
  Victoria (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 17)


March 20, 1936

Mr. PLUNKETT:

You have a majority now and it is your privilege to enforce this measure. Your party was in power from 1921 to 1930; why did you not make these changes then that are now suggested by a private member?

The effect of this legislation on the efficiency of the civil service can readily be understood. What would the older members of the civil service think who, after years of service, saw an outsider advanced past them? What new man ever came into any office who understood the details of his work until he was trained by someone ahead of him or someone completely informed on all points? Then there is another consideration; new men would receive the appointments whether the commission had recommended them or not. It is not the duty of the ministers to make appointments; they may have that privilege through a party majority, but they must use it carefully and honestly when they exercise it. The civil service of Canada has just begun to be recognized as an important asset of the dominion, and the changes proposed in this bill would tend to destroy it. If those changes have to be made I ask the government to assume the responsibility. If they believe in the principles of the bill, let them show this by making the bill a government measure. Then those of us who are fearful that the civil service may be made less efficient will at least have the responsibility taken from our shoulders and we will not be parties to the destruction of that service.

What of merit all along the line; how are you to decide? I have a little experience in political affairs. I know positions vacant in my constituency are now being filled by Liberals. I do not objeet; that is the privilege of the party in power; the people gave

Civil Service Act

them a mandate permitting them to do so, but that is no reason why I should support a measure destroying the civil service of Canada.

I wonder what hon. members representing the city of Ottawa think about this measure. When I have seen the corridors of this building crowded and I have thought of the position of those members, I was at least sympathetic enough to thank providence that there was a civil service commission, if only for their sake.

I am prepared to oppose the bill. I have a feeling that the Liberal party will carry it out in detail. They have a large majority, and I hope they will not abuse it in any way by making changes in the act. I do not believe they will. For these reasons I oppose the principle of the bill.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT
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March 20, 1936

Mr. PLUNKETT:

I should like to comment on this from another point of view. Many Indians are collectors of furs and pelts for sale. Supposing a man has a number of these furs in his home, and he has an enemy- perhaps another Indian, perhaps a white man- although he may be a saving man, accumulating them to give to some of his sons and daughters when they get married, his enemy might whisper in the ear of the authorities: This is for a potlatch. Is it fair to expose the Indians to that risk by making these laws any more stringent? The present law is working well; the Indians are acting well; why add something that may be an irritant, may make the Indian dissatisfied, may create trouble for the law officers, and may entail additional cost in enforcing the law in many ways when there is no need for this? I do hope that the minister will reconsider this and not put the amendment into law.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT AMENDMENT
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March 20, 1936

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

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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
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March 20, 1936

Mr. PLUNKETT:

The reason I have asked this question is because I have had many inquiries in this connection, and to some extent the suggestion has been that one school is conducted better than another. I have visited one or two and found them very satisfactory; I have no reason to believe that suggestion is true, so I have asked the minister to give me the fullest information possible so that I may intelligently speak to those who inquire of me. If there is any further information the minister could give me I would appreciate it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT uF AGRICULTURE
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March 20, 1936

Mr. PLUNKETT:

I should like to call the attention of the minister to the head office for Indian Affairs in British Columbia. It is in a very old building. All the records of the Indian department for British Columbia are kept in that building. If there should be a fire-and there have been one or two incipient fires-the result may be imagined in view of the fact that the building is heated by coal and wood stoves and is a wooden structure without even a fireproof vault for keeping the records. I want to leave that thought with the minister in the hope that he may be able to do something towards getting into the new building there which is under contemplation. I wish further to ask with regard to amounts voted for the education of Indian children; I believe that is divided between various religious denominations in British Columbia. Could the minister name the different religious bodies and the amount which was voted to each one last year, if your records are complete for one fiscal year?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT uF AGRICULTURE
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