March 29, 1922

LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I am sorry to say that I have not been in the department long

enough to know all the various classifications of the service, nor do J expect to be able to remain long enough to do so.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

There is a Mr. Cochrane employed at Moncton who keeps in touch with the railway employees. Is he under the minister's department?

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LIB
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I think his appointment is made by the local administration, with the co-operation of the Dominion.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I know the gentleman;

he is an officer of the Labour Department, in charge of the Employment Bureau here. .

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

He is appointed, I believe, by the local government.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

This re-classification

volume does not define the duties of a clearance officer, but I shall be glad to get the information and place it before my hon. friend. The Civil Service Commission establish the titles and define the duties of these various positions; the matter is not in the hands of the minister, or, I believe, of anyone in the department.

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CON

John Armstrong MacKelvie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacKELVIE:

I was curious to

know why the office had been discontinued at Vancouver while, apparently, there is still one at Halifax.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I think the intention

is to make a different classification for the gentleman at Calgary, carrying with it a slightly increased scale of compensation. The Civil Service Commission recently determined that so-called fair wage officers who devoted a considerable portion of their time to investigation of matters connected with the coal mining industry should be placed in a different classification from that of ordinary fair wage investigators who covered a wide field in other classes of employment. Accordingly, I understand they are rearranging the classification, slightly increasing, I believe, the compensation for fair wage officers having to do with matters affecting the coal mining industry.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Can the minister, now that he has the volume, state a little more definitely than he did yesterday what are the duties of the Industrial Engineer?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

If the

minister will pardon me, I may say that I have been struck with the interest that has been shown by the minister's explanation of these numerous titles that are now attached to people in the Civil Service who,

Supply-Labour

in my previous days in the House of Commons were simply known as clerks, and I discovered that you will find in the Distribution Office a large volume, if not two or three prepared by this wonderful Griffen-hagen firm which was employed by the late government, at very great expense to the country, to reclassify the whole Civil Service; and in it will be found the duties of all the positions classified. The minister of any one department has nothing whatever to do with the affixing of titles or assigning the duties of the office.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

As I happen to have under my hand the duties of the Industrial Engineer, I will read them:

Definition of Class:

To act as technical adviser to the Department of Labour; to investigate various industrial matters and to prepare reports thereon; to draft forms and draw up standard practice instructions for use in the branches of the department; to act in an advisory capacity in connection with industrial disputes ; to gather data and to furnish information and assistance in connection with the establishment of Joint Industrial Councils pursuant to the recommendation of the National Industrial Conference; and to perform other related work as required. Qualifications:

Education equivalent to graduation in arts, science, or engineering from a university of recognized standing; at least five years of experience in constructive investigation work, of which at least two years shall have been in an administrative or consulting capacity; initiative, tact and good judgment; good address. Compensation :

Monthly: $ 255 270 285 300Annual: $3,060 3,240 3,420 3,600

This was described by the commission as a new class at the time it was classified. I do not think it would be out of the way for me to call the attention of hon. members to the fact that these definitions of class and qualifications were prepared under the direction of or directly by gentlemen who were being paid at the race of $7 tier hour, which perhaps accounts for their being so exhaustive.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

As the minister was reading the classification I felt like remarking with regard to the particular type of individual required for this work, "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven," for it did not seem to me that you could add a single quality or a single bit of knowledge to such a wonderful combination of human intellect, resource and ability, as is there depicted by the Griffenhagen people or the Civil Service Commission.

I rose for the purpose of asking the minister, who I believe is a practical man, whether, stripping himself of all the attributes of the ministry, he does not feel like saying to this House that as regards the practical questions that have to be met in the labour world the real way to get at the root of any labour problem is to get a commonsense man or a body of men, who may never have had a university education at all, to go down into the thick of it between the capitalist and the employees and talk common sense to both sides, with a view to bringing them together. I believe that the minister and myself are absolutely of one mind there, and no matter what commissions the past government may have appointed, at no matter what cost, I trust that we are going to see from the minister within a very short time a scheme based on the real practical fundamentals of human nature. Perhaps he may be able to outline it later and tell us when we shall be able to get down to something less in the way of expense for what is almost a work of supererogation along the lines of education, and depend on the thing that really counts, human character in touch with human problems.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I wholeheartedly agree that the hon. gentleman is talking common sense when he speaks of the proper methods of dealing with industrial disputes.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

There is a decided increase in these estimates over last year, apart from the statutory increases. Now, considering general world conditions and decrease in wages in all forms of labour, skilled and unskilled, I should like to ask the minister whether, when these Estimates were presented to him, he endeavoured to find out why there had been an increase, and whether some method could not be devised for bringing his estimates more into conformity with general conditions in the labour world outside.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I did so. The proposed increase of $23,400 in the civil gov eminent estimates, so far as I know and honestly believe, is partly necessary in accordance with the provisions of the law regulating the statutory salary increases. I am sure my hon. friend will not hold me responsible for what is outside my control. Part of the increased cost is due to the appointment of some additional employees, but these I honestly believe to be necessary for the successful and proper functioning of the Department of Labour. Even with these additions to the permanent staff I am at a loss to know whether we will be even able to carry on, after dispensing with possibly twenty-five or thirty

Supply-Labour

temporary employes who were appointed during the regime of my predecessor and have been in the department ever since I took office.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Out of what vote were these forty-seven temporary employees paid?

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

Partly out of the vote for contingencies and sundries. To some extent the cost has also been met out of employment services and the industrial training fund, and other sources. Now, what I hope to do is to come right out into the open and resort to no camouflage to shelter any employee in the Labour Department. If such does not appear to be my course at the present time it is because -and I frankly admit the fact-I have not yet got a sufficiently detailed grasp of the entire situation to know just what can be done. I believe, however, that something can be done to improve the situation as regards the number of employees and to meet what I understand to be the generally expressed wish of Parliament.

Progress reported.

At six o'clock the House adjourned without question being put, pursuant to rule.

Thursday, March 30, 1922

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March 29, 1922