February 12, 1909

LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Allow me to explain that the increase to which my hon. friend refers has not been applied to the clerks in the outside service, properly speaking That is covered by the increase which I obtained from parliament for postmasters some years ago. The House may remember that Sir Wm. Mulock, when Postmaster Genera], obtained an increase in the salaries of small postmasters from $12 to $25, and three years ago I obtained a further increase to $35. That acounts for most of that increase. The clerks who are under the statute receive their statutory increases, but there has been no special increase in the salaries of the outside service of the Post Office Department.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

These figures indicate that a very great improvement has been made in the pay of the general outside service. There may be portions of the outside service which have not reaped the advantage, while there are other portions which have reaped a very great advantage The figures do not indicate how many there Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

are in each category; but they show that the government has not been unmindful of the needs and desires of the outside service. I want to point out that these increases were possible without an amendment to any particular statute, and are consequently in an entirely different position from the increases made to the inside (service, which are made by a definite statute. That is why in this particular case we have introduced a statute and asked parliament to pass it, while in the other case we do not require to do so, as an annual vote in the estimates of each dep-partment will accomplish the result desired.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Will the Minister of Customs inform us whether the $345,000 included in the statement read by the Minister of Agriculture represents an actual annual increase to the outside officials of his department?

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

On that point I cannot speak positively. When I take an extra vote, as I did this year, a certain amount <*f it we hope to use in increasing the salaries of the men in the service, and a certain amount we estimate may be required for new offices. Therefore, I cannot tell positively. I would have to inquire.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Perhaps the minister would be good enough to inquire. I know there have been substantial increases, but I do not think they amounted to so much as the sum mentioned in the statement of the Minister of Agriculture.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I have here a copy of the Labour Gazette, which states that the increase of wages granted in 1907 to various employees of the Customs Department amounted to $160,000.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

It is quite possible that the person who compiled the figures for the Labour Gazette may have taken the whole $160,000 to represent increases, while a portion of that may have been utilized by the Customs Department for the payment of new officials.

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LIB
LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

There was one year, two or three years ago, when we took an extra amount of $250,000. I remember we took a very large amount; so it is possible that is correct.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Those amounts have been continued after once being taken?

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

If they have been given to the same individual. If one died, for instance, and a new man came in, sometimes we started him at a little less.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

To show that what I said was correct, here is another item with regard to the Department of Indian Affairs.

It gives the actual number of employees; it says: 39 had their salaries increased by from $60 to $300 per annum and aggregating $9,360. That refers altogether to the outside service, it gives the number of the employees and the increase of their salaries.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

There is another point to which I would like to direct the attention of the hon. Minister of Agriculture and the Governor General. Section 8 of the Civil Service Act of last year reads as follows:

8. As soon as practicable after the coming into force of the Act, the head of each department should cause the organization of his department to be determined and defined by order in council, due regard being had to the status of each officer or clerk as the case may be.

2. The order in council shall give the names of the several branches of the department, with the number and character of the offices, clerkships and other positions in each, and the duties, titles and salaries thereafter to pertain thereto.

3. After being so determined and defined, the organization of a department should not be changed except by order in council.

It does not seem to me that that has been done by many 'of the departments; 'apparently it has been done to some extent by the Department of Inland Revenue; it may have been done by some other departments. It is a statutory provision, it is imperative in its language. It declares that the head of each department shall cause the organization of his department to be determined and defined by order in council, arid that the order in council shall set forth the duties appertaining to each office, clerkship and other position. The provisions of this statute seem to have been almost entirely disregarded in the various departments. I would not like to assert positively that ministers of the Crown who have disregarded it have been guilty of a criminal offence, although there is a law upon the statute-book that any person wilfully disobeying a statute is liable to indictment. Of course I have regard to the language of the statute, which is that this work of reorganization shall be done as soon as practicable after the coming into force of the Act. I am ready to concede that if a minister could show that he had devoted every available portion of his time to this work, and had not completed it, he might be able to escape criminal liability. But as it is, I think there would be a good case at least for calling him before a grand jury on a preliminary investigation. At all events, it is a matter that requires explanation. I consider it a very important part of the provisions of that section. You are to define, not only the salaries, not only the character of the offices, clerkships and other positions, but what is absolutely im-311

portant to a thorough organization of the department, you are to make known by the terms of an order in council the duties which each clerk is called upon to perform as a public servant of Canada. That has not been done; there has heen little pretense of doing it. I would again invite the attention of my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture to that, and ask him to explain why the provisions of the statute in that regard have not been complied with.

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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Mr. PATERSON.

I have just 'phoned the accountant of the Customs Department in reference to that matter. He tells me that it was he who gave those figures, and that those are the actual increases granted to the men who were in the service, and do not include new offices.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I remember well the remarks of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition which he made with regard to this matter before, and I have looked up a little the orders in council. Perhaps the orders in council might be more full than they are. I have just sent for a copy of the order in council in my own department, and I would like my hon. friend to follow me a little, and I will show him what we have done, which I think is fairly fulfilling the intention of the Act, though I grant that we might go a little further in an elaborate description of the work of a good many offices. Beginning with the first division of subdivision A: Dr. Montizambert,

Director General of Public Health. I do not know that I could define much more particularly what the duties of Dr. Monti-zamhert are. I might go on to say that he is in charge of the quarantine service of Canada, and give 'other /particulars ,and practically transcribe the order in council appointing him, but I do not think that is intended or desired.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I would say that where the order in council appointing an officer has prescribed his duties fairly well, the statute would be sufficiently complied with if reference were made to that order in council; in other words, the duties of this officer shall be those set forth in the order in council appointing him on such a day.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Then I pass over Dr. Saunders, Mr. Blue, Dr. Rutherford and so on. We come down to the first division of subdivision B. Dr. James Fletcher, Entomologist and Botanist, Central Experimental Farm; Mr. Shutt, chemist of experimental farm; Mr. St. Denis, secretary of the Census and Statistics office. I should think that was a fairly fair description of the duties of the offices which these gentlemen hold. J. H. Grisdale, agriculturist, Central Experimental Farm. As a matter of fact, in the Treasury Board the descrip-cions of the officers at the experimental farm are just the same as they are put in

the order in council. Dr. Charles Saunders, cerealist. Perhaps that requires some explanation to most people, but it defines the office of the individual. When you come down further to the lower subdivisions, as a general rule, they are simply clerks, sometimes perhaps doing one thing, and sometimes another. I do not think in most of the lower orders of the service we can do much more than define them as clerks, unless they have some particular work. I have here Mr. C. Martin, assistant editor of the Archives. He is the gentleman who helps to edit the bulletins and publications that go out from the Archives. D. Drummond, live stock inspector; Mr. McKae, live stock inspector; Mr. McMurray, French correspondent, experimental farm. Then here is Mr. Watson, stenographer; Mr. Nolan, patent examiner. I hardly think it could be expected that we should go much beyond that. I confess I did think in so doing that I would be free from any likelihood of prosecution under the Criminal Code for dereliction of duty. But would it be well to encumber the orders in council with more graphic descriptions of the work done?

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

In some departments the reply is that there is nothing whatever. For example, in the Department of Justice there is no information available of the nature asked for in this address. The Auditor General reports the same thing; other departments report the same thing. The Minister of Inland Revenue seems to have complied with the statute and to have done his work in this connection far better than any other minister, with the exception possibly of the Minister of Agriculture, whose records I have not examined very closely. He has absolutely defined the duties of the heads of each branch and has given a fair indication of the duties of the various officers in the branch. For example, take his organization of the Department of Inland Revenue:

Deputy Minister-The duties of the Deputy

Minister of Inland Revenue shall cover the general supervision and administration of all branches of the Inland Revenue Department.

Then he names his clerks, stenographers and typewriters.

Secretary-The duties of this officer shall be to attend to all correspondence, other than of an administrative character, have charge of all records and supplies, and to have general supervision over the correspondence and supply branches.

Then he goes on to deal with the various officers of the secretary's branch. Dealing with the chief accountant he says:

The duties of this officer shall be to have general control and supervision over all work connected with revenue and expenditure, the work of the statistical branches of all services and the preparation of the financial and statistical reports.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Then he goes on to deal with subdivision A of. the first division and proceeds:

The number and character of the officers in the Accountant's branch to be as follows:

1. Assistant accountant-To have particular charge of accounts relative to receipts and expenditure, to record each deposit of revenue, to have charge of the general journal and ledger and to replace the chief accountant when absent from any cause.

And so on with reference to every important office of his department. Then he has taken up the laboratory branch and dealt with it in the same way very thoroughly. 1 understand from my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster), although I have not seen the organization of the Mines Department, that this has been done equally well. The other departments should have devoted the same attention to the statute and observed the same particularity and definiteness in prescribing the duties of the various officers that we find in the organization carried out by the Minister of Inland Revenue and Mines. Otherwise, a great part of the advantage from this statute will be lost.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I perfectly agree with my hon. friend that so far as it is possible and consistent with conciseness the intention of the Act was to indicate these things in the classification. I think it probable that when another classification is issued that will he done to a greater extent.

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February 12, 1909