Before the House goes into Committee of Supply, I wish to speak for a few moments on a matter which I proposed to bring before the attention of the House yesterday when the Orders of the Day were called, but which at your suggestion, Mr. Speaker, I deferred until to-day. From the answers to some questions which were answered yesterday, with reference to the number of homestead entries that had been made within the last three years, 1911, 1912 and 1913, I discovered that the number had very considerably decreased during those three years. On the other hand I discovered that the number of officials in the outside service in the Department of the Interior had been very greatly increased. Taking for instance the one item of homestead inspectors alone, the number, which on the first day of October, 1911, stood at 40, has been increased to 60, an increase of fifty per cent, although the homestead work has very greatly decreased so far as entries are concerned. With reference to the staffs of the various land offices in the West, the number of officials on the different staffs, which on the first of October, 1911, stood at 332, has been increased to 377. From personal observation I am of the opinion that the Government have appointed a large number of officials in the West, not because they are required in the public service, but in order that they may devote their superfluous time to canvassing votes for the political party which to-day holds power in thi3 country. Far from it being the purpose and intent of the Government that public servants, paid out of the treasury of this country, shall not be partisans, shall not take an active part in politics while in the service of the country, it would appear on the contrary that it is the intent and purpose of this Government that officials of the various departments, at least in the outside service, shall render assistance to the political party which to-day holds office.
In support of that view and in reference to the particular matter which I propose to bring before the House, I question very much if the individual concerned is nearly as much to blame as is the Government which he serves. From what I have seen and from what I know, the offence of partisanship in the public service is an offence, not only condoned but regarded as an object of merit by this Government. As proof and evidence of what I say, I wish to take the case of one Mr. Arthur Smythe, who was appointed homestead inspector for the district of Humboldt, by the present Government. From the answer received yesterday to my question, I discovered that this Mr. Arthur Smythe, who was appointed, I believe, early in the year of 1912, is still in the public service as homestead inspector. I have already brought to the attention of the House and of the Government the fact that in July, 1912, during the progress of a provincial election in the province of Saskatchewan, this Mr. Arthur Smythe was haled before the court on the charge of intimidating voters in that election, of attempting to coerce voters to vote for candidates of the Conservative persuasion. Not only was he haled before the court but he was fined fifty dollars and costs. Evidently the proof against him was absolutely conclusive. My inquiry of the Government as to whether or not this Mr. Smythe was still in the public service was answered in the following laconic and emphatic manner: ' Yes, still in the employ of the Government.'
In view of that fact, what can any public servant in the outside service consider is his duty from the viewpoint of the masters whom he serves? An instance such as this is evidence of the fact that from their public servants this Govern-
ment not only condone active partisanship in the discharge of their public duty, but apparently consider it to be one of the cardinal virtues.
Of the large army of new officials that have been created by this Government since coming into office, there is one official to whom I propose to give some particular attention. We have, of course, in the West and in the East, a department of Indian Affairs. When the late member for Dauphin, who was defeated by his constituents in 1911 by a large majority, found that he was out of public life, this Government undertook to provide him with a position in the public service. In order to do that, they created for this gentleman the new office of Chief Inspector of Indian Agencies. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 1913, this Government paid to this official $4,434.63, $450 of which was paid while still being unaccounted for, I suppose in the form of vouchers, receipts or something of that sort. It was put in under the bald statement of expenses. I believe that of the total amount, $3,000, is salary and the balance is travelling expenses, etc. .
I am not speaking of this gentleman with any personal animus or feeling, whatever. I have not any question or doubt as to the attainments and qualifications of this gentleman for the position to which the Government have appointed him. I presume . he has the necessary qualifications, if he so wills, and if the Government wishes it, to give faithful service in the position to which he was appointed. But I have this complaint to make of this gentleman, that, so far as my information goes, from the day of his appointment he has been as acutely and actively partisan as he ever was when he was himself a candidate for public office. Just as an illustration of this I find in the Dauphin Press of the 5th of this month, in the general news columns, an item to this effect:
A Conservative convention is to be held on January 16, to select a candidate. Hon. George Lawrence, Minister of Agriculture, will be present with Glen Campbell and others to address the electors. Opposition speakers are invited.
Three thousand dollars a year and expenses ! And he is billed in the constituency of Swan River to be one of the public speakers at a convention to be held-to which, of course, opposition speakers are invited. That is only an illustration of the kind of work that this gentleman has been carrying on in the constituencies of Manitoba, and not of Manitoba alone but of the provinces further west. I have just received
information from the provincial constituency of North Qu'Appelle in which there is a by-election pending that again the hand of this high-salaried official is shown in his capacity of public servant of this country by participating actively in the contest. I say the by-election is pending. Though the writs have not yet been issued, yet both political parties expect the writs to be issued very shortly and, as a matter of fact, the Liberal party put their candidate in the field in the month of December last, while the Conservative candidate was placed at the end of November. The by-election in the constituency of North Qu'Appelle is occasioned by the resignation of Mr. John Archie McDonald, exmember of the Legislative Assembly, against whom charges of corruption were laid on account of his election in July, 1912. Before his case was proceeded with in the courts, Mr. McDonald saw fit to resign his seat and is not himself again a candidate in the election. Mr. John Archie McDonald, I may say, is the brother-in-law of Glen Campbell, Superintendent of Indian Agencies-or, if any would prefer it that way, Mr. Campbell is Mr. McDonald's brother-in-law. But while Mr. McDonald is not a candidate, he is exceedingly anxious that the seat he vacated shall be filled by a Conservative in the local legislature. Consequently, we find Mr. Campbell and Mr. McDonald have recently been making a tour of the constituency, with what object in view the members of this House can guess.
The particular matter I wish to bring to the attention of the House and the Government is contained in a letter from Mr. William Penny, of Balcarres, to which is attached an affidavit signed and sworn to by Michael Poitras a half-breed voter in the North Qu'Appelle constituency. I shall just read the letter of Mr. Penny, and as for the affidavit, I will give the substance of it, and the Minister of the Interior who is responsible for the conduct of this official will be welcome to peruse it after I have dealt with it here. The letter from this justice of the peace is addressed to myself and is as follows:
Dear Sir,-I have the honour to enclose herewith affidavit of Michael Poitras, a half-breed, living near Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask.
I may say in this connection that I understand that one of the duties of the Superintendent of Indian Agencies, and of every Indian agent also, is to prevent the Indians who are the wards of this Government and this country, from having access.
if preventable to intoxicating liquors. The half-breed is not a ward of the Government, but he is in the same position as the Indian so far as his weakness along these lines is concerned.
This man is in destitute circumstances, as a result of becoming intoxicated and lying outside on the frozen ground without any protection from the weather, all night. He has a wife and a family of young children depending on him for their support.
My object in bringing this matter to your attention is with the idea that you may persuade the Dominion Government authorities to render this unfortunate family some aid in their dire distress, which, as you will note in the affidavit, was the result of liquor supplied him by one Glen Campbell, inspector of Indian Agencies. I understand that Campbell resides in Dauphin, Man., and is a brother-in-law of John Archie McDonald, former M.L.A. for North Qu'Appelle, who resigned recently, when charges of corruption in connection with his election were coming before the court.
Trusting that you may be successful in your worthy endeavour to secure aid for this unhappy family.
Your obedient servant,
A Justice of the Peace in and for the
Province of Saskatchewan.
Attached to this letter is the affidavit ol Mr. Poitras. As I have said, I will not go into the details of this affidavit, but wi'l hand the document to the Minister of the Interior and he will see just how reprehensible was the conduct of Mr. Campbell on this occasion. This half-breed, as all men will, drifted into a bar-room one day-
Topic: PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS AND DOMINION OFFICIALS.
As some men will-drifted into a bar-room one day in January, and there he was met by Mr. John Archie -McDonald, and a little later by Mr. Glen Campbell. The affidavit goes on to say that Mr. Glen Campbell insisted on his drinking whisky of which he bought him not one but a great number of drinks until the poor man became intoxicated. The man went out of doors and slept on the prairie- this is in the month of January. And any one who knows anything of the weather of the West in January will know what that means. The result was that when he was discovered in the morning, one foot was entirely frozen, so that the man probably is crippled for life as a result of this experience, and his family, because of his inability to support them, found themselves in destitute circumstances. Now, I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, and to this House, and to the Prime Minister and the Government, whether or not they consider that this sort of conduct on the part of an official
of this Government should or should not go unpunished.
I have instanced the case of Mr. Smythe. His was a political -offence and perhaps on that account is more leniently regarded by the Government. But here is a case of an agent whom they have appointed to the responsible position of Superintendent of Indian Agencies. He has to look after the wards of this conn try and protect them from certain vices, of which they easily, as we all know, become a prey. The man spoken of in this letter of the justice of the peace, and whose affidavit is attached, is, as I say, a half-breed, whose position is practically the same as that of an Indian. Yet we find that this official in the constituency of North Qu'Appelle, when a by-election was pending, spent his time-and we will get the expense account in due course-in the service of his country by buying intoxicating liquors for this poor, benighted half-breed who had not sufficient will-power to resist his solicitations, with the result that a family has been practically rendered destitute. We all know very well the high and exalted ideals of the leader of the Government on the question of the public service; at least we all know the high and exalted ideas he entertained before he became Prime Minister of this country. I bring these two instances to the attention of the Government, the latter one especially, and to the attention of the Prime Minister, as evidence of what I believe to be the general practice, so far as partisanship is concerned, of many of the outside officials of this Government, particularly in the Department of the Interior, who operate in western Canada. I say that if the public service is to be degraded and disgraced by such conduct on the part of its high-salaried officials, the sooner this country knows the facts the better. Let us have a statement from the Prime Minister, or from the responsible Minister in this case, the Minister of the Interior, as to whether or not he thinks it is in the public interest and for the wellbeing of this nation that such conduct should be continued, to the degradation of one of the units of our great body of citizens.
These are only a couple of instances I am bringing to the attention of the Government. I could cite not one but many more instances where officials in the Government outside service, men appointed by this Administration, are carrying on this kind of business. But what is the need of my doing so? We have the evidence of the public
press as to the conduct of this particular gentleman-the fact that he takes the platform and makes political speeches on behalf of political candidates in the West. Not only have we the evidence of the public press, but we have what I would consider to be the irrefutable evidence of this affidavit as to his conduct on the occasion referred to. This seems to be an example of the kind of work this gentleman is doing to earn his $3,000 salary and his $1,400 or $1,500 travelling expenses. The Dominion of Canada is paying for the services of this official, and I say that the Government must be held responsible for the conduct of their officials in expending these moneys not in the public interest, but for the advancement of political parties, whether in provincial or federal politics.
Topic: PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS AND DOMINION OFFICIALS.
for Humboldt, on the Orders of the Day being called, arose and gave notice that he intended to bring a matter of great urgency before the House, we expected, of course, to hear something most important, possibly affecting the national welfare. When you ruled, Mr. Speaker, that the matter should not come up except on going into Supply, I sent a note over to the hon. member for Humboldt asking him if he would have the courtesy to tell me what he was going to bring before the House upon its going into Supply. The hon. gentleman, however, has not seen fit to extend this courtesy, and I get up here to-day without having previously had the slightest inkling of what the hon. gentleman has now brought to the attention of the House.
Topic: PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS AND DOMINION OFFICIALS.
Can prove it. Mr. Smythe was arrested because it was supposed that he had intimidated some of those people who were residents or who had taken up land in that country. As I say, this is
the first time I have heard of this charge against Mr. Smythe; so far as I know, Mr. Smythe was occupying his position before I came into the department. I do not know the gentleman personally, but I have had no complaint against him in connection with the matter which the hon. member for Humboldt has brought to the attention of the House. The hon. gentleman has mentioned the name of Mr. Glen Campbell. I am quite aware that Mr. Campbell was a member of this House during the last Parliament, and I am also aware of the fact that he and the hon. member for Humboldt exchanged what I would call many petrified bouquets at that time. It may be that some of those are still rankling in the breast of the hon. member, and so Mr. Campbell, who is generally quite able to take care of himself, is made the subject of a series of accusations, which I have heard to-day for the first time. Mr. Campbell, a high priced official, the hon. gentleman states, has drawn a great deal of money from this Government, and he says vouchers for a certain amount of this 'have not been forthcoming. I am not aware of this. I thought possibly the hon. gentleman was mixing up his men, that he was referring to a celebrated character named R. E. A. Leech. That was the gentleman who put in a padded expense account and the Auditor General refused to pay him. That is the gentleman who was rewarded by one of my predecessors in the late Government for his thin red line outrage by being appointed to the high position of inspector of land agencies in western Canada. I am not aware that Mr. Campbell has not sent in his vouchers. If he has not, I presume the Auditor General has not paid his accounts. At all events, the responsibility rests on the watch dog of the treasury, the Auditor General, to look after those details. He states that Mr. Glen Campbell appeared on a public platform in one of the constituencies of northern Manitoba and made a political speech, the proof of which he had in the newspaper which he read. He may have done so, I am not aware of the fact; but certainly the hon. gentleman did not produce the proof that he did. All he produced was a notice of a meeting at which Glen Campbell was advertised to speak. That is about the proof he furnishes in re-40
gard to all these other accusations. I do not believe that Mr. Campbell appeared at that meeting.
Topic: PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS AND DOMINION OFFICIALS.