My hon. friend will remember that some time ago there was considerable reduction in the number of officials. I am not able at present, beyond this change with regard to Laliberte, to offer any proposal for reduction. The commissioner of the Yukon was here a little while ago in connection with the reduction that we proposed to make in connection with the government of the Yukon, and I discussed the matter with him, and he informed me that he was not able at the moment to make any suggestion as to reduction. I urged on him the desirability of reductions being made if they could be made, but I regret to say that in one or two instances he seemed to think that more assistance would be heeded rather than less. For instance, he says that the surveys are very much behind, and that we should have more assistance in that work.
Mr. Congdon is not in the employ now. He retired about a year ago. He was legal adviser. When Mr. Congdon retired, Mr. Senkier, who before that was gold commissioner', was made legal adviser at the same salary and with the same living allowance. Mr. Gosselin, who had been assistant gold commissioner, was made commissioner, and the office of assistant was dropped, it being believed that, with The Placer Mining Act, there was not the necessity that formerly existed for a gold commissioner and an assistant.
Has any reduction been made in the number of clerks in the Gold Commissioner's office ? There seems to be
altogether too many of them. For instance you have appointed a clerk, L. G. Bennett, gold commissioner's office, getting a salary and allowance of $1,690 for the. nine months; Bolduc, a clerk, gold commissioner's office, with a salary and allowance of $1,600 for the nine months ; a stenographer, gold commissioner's office, with a salary and allowance of $1,837 for the nine months ; Aime Dugas, a clerk in the gold commissioner's office at $1,900 salary and allowance for the nine months ; Finnic, chief clerk, gold commissioner's office, $2,625, salary and allowance for the nine months ; another mining inspector, and then you have Fysh, clerk, gold commissioner's office, $2,025. salarv and allowance for the nine months ; Gosselin, assistant gold commissioner, with a salary and allowance of $3,900 for the nine months ; Grant, clerk, gold commissioner's office, salary and allowance, $1,800 for the nine months. Then more mining inspectors. Then L'Hereux, clerk, gold commissioner's office, $1,100, salary and allowance for the nine months ; Little, stenographer, gold commissioner's office, $2,025, salary and allowance for the nine months ; Macfarlane, clerk, gold commissioner's office, $1,760, salary and allowance for nine months. Then you have an accountant in the gold commissioner's office at $1,500, salary and allowance for the nine months. Another stenographer and gold clerk, at $2,475, salary and allowance for the nine months. An assistant gold commissioner at White Horse, over $3,000, salary and allowance for the nine months; G. D. Munroe, clerk, gold commissioner's office, salary and allowance. $1,440 for the nine months ; W. O. Noble, clerk, gold commissioner's office, $1,650, salary and allowance for the nine months ; G. Fepin-that is the ministrel, I suppose-clerk, gold commissioner's office, $1,575, salary and living allowance for the nine months ; G. Petre, clerk, gold commissioner's office, salary and living allowance, $1,500 for the nine months ; A. H. Povah, gold commissioner's office, $1,370, salary and living allowance nine months ; E. C. Sinkler, gold commissioner, salary and living allowance for the nine months, $4,875. Another stenographer in the gold commissioner's court, $1,586, salary and living allowance for the nine months : another stenographer, gold commissioner's office, $1,575, salary and living allowance, nine months ; a correspondence clerk, salary and living allowance, $1,800 for the nine months ; an assistant correspondence clerk, salary and allowance, $1,200. That is a tremendous staff. Does the minister really think all that array is necessary for the work in the gold commissioner's office there ? He himself was there and looked into it. What I am told is that there is an aggregation of men there absolutely unnecessary. Any business man could do' the work with a very much less number of men and expense.
Of the names mentioned, Munroe, Macfarlane and Pepin are not in the employ there at all, and their places have not been filled. Macfarlane is employed as mining inspector on one of the creeks at Granville in the place of another man who has left the service. These are some of the decreases I mentioned.
It looks to me as if it could. I did succeed in getting some pruning done. I have discussed the matter very fully with the present commissioner, and although he may not be as anxious to apply the pruning knife as my hon. friend, still I think lie will do what is right, and I hope the staff will not be allowed to remain over the requirements, if it is too large. It does look bulky for the amount of business.
The minister must take into consideration the fact that the commissioner lives night and day with these people, and the last thing in the world he wants to do is to recommend that any of them be cut down. If the minister waits until that is done, he w'ill wait a long time.
I think he ought to exercise his own judgment about that. If it was a large place, where the people were distributed a good deal, the commissioner would have all the more liberty that way, but they form a circle of their own, and it would be like cutting out one of his own family for the commissioner to make recommendations in that way. I hope he will do what is right, but I do not think there is much hope that he will face the live flesh with the idea that he is going to cut down their salaries and living allowance, because I do not think he is courageous enough to do it. As regards Mr. Congdon, the local adviser, he was for a long time the representative of the government as controller or administrator of estates ?
Is it also correct that Mr. Congdon, all the time he administered the estates as public administrator, never really made any statement with reference to any estate he administered, and that the department has not a single statement made by him of' a complete estate-of the transactions from start to finish.
I am not able to answer definitely. I am under the impression however, that, so far as our department is concerned, my hon. friend is probably correct. However, I understand that the case Is that the administrator of estates-as the practice was there-was under the direction of the local government, the Yukon council. We appointed him and paid his salary, but, as I understand it, his administration was in accordance with the laws and ordinances of the Yukon council, and it was understood that his responsibilities were to them and not to us. For that reason, the statement that he would make would naturally be to the Yukon council, not to us.
Is it not true that the public administrator represented the Minister of the Interior ? If so, surely the minister here ought to have statements of his administration. It does not seem to me that the Bill is not filled when he is simply left to the tender mercies of the council which he himself dominates. Mr. Congdon is a rather dominatingly-inclined man, as shown by his whole history. He went out and went in a good many times, and never went back without having an increase in his salary, a very material increase. He was a kind of character who really controlled and had a dominating influence. He was commissioner some time, and member of the council generally. It would be an odd thing to have the public administrator accountable to himself as a member of the council. Is the minister aware whether he ever made a statement of an estate he managed as public administrator-finished statements and duly audited, before the local government ?