June 16, 1922

CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

In my riding from 1911 to the present time not one official was dismissed who was a Liberal.

Topic:   EDITION
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LIB
LIB
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

In justice to the party, I would like to say the same for my riding as the hon. member for South Simeoe has said for his. I was not of this party in 1911, so I am not a biassed witness, and I do not know of a dismissal in my section of the country since 1911. I know one postmaster, a very well known man, who was appointed by the Liberals, and who has been kept in by the Conservatives ever since, and he is still in that position, though he is opposed to both parties now so far as I know.

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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

I just want to make good my assertion. One of the first things brought to my notice when I came in at the by-election in 1912, was a request to dismiss the postmaster at Thornton who had been a Liberal all his life, but I declined to have anything to do with it.

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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

There may be exceptions, where there were no Conservatives to be found, but we all know that the outside service was practically eliminated after the election of 1911, and that thousands and thousands of Liberals were dismissed all over the country.

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LIB
LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

I admit that in constituencies in Ontario which were largely Conservative the axe may not have been applied so ruthlessly, but it is well known that Liberals all over the country were dismissed.

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CON
LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

We have very few officials of the Department of Agriculture in my constituency or in the province of New Brunswick, but I believe it applies to that department also.

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

With regard to the constituency of Victoria City 1 know of no such dismissals, and with regard to the Department of Agriculture, it is a well known fact that nearly all the branch heads are Liberal's or Liberal appointees, and excellent men they are. None of them were shifted1; they are there still, and are rendering good service.

Supply-Civil Service

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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

I am only speaking of the outside service.

Mr.BOYS: I will make this assertion, and I would be very glad to see the Government take it uip, that since 1911 down to the present time, not one per cent, of the officials of Liberal faith throughout the province of Ontario have been dismissed.

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LIB
LIB
CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

I spoke of Ontario because 1 really do not profess to know very much about the other provinces.

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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

In 1911, there were only eight or ten Liberal constituencies in Ontario, and the ministers representing the province of Ontario took good care to keep their friends in office. That accounts for the comparatively small number of dismissals in Ontario. In 1919, this same government that dismissed these officials after 1911, thinking that they had their op-pointees nominated all over the country and the outside service filled with their supporters, brought the outside service under the commission in order to keep their appointees in the service. That is what was done. I protested at the time, and I am only repeating to-night what I said two or three years ago in this Parliament. I say that in the -best interests of the country, in the interests of the Civil Service, and more particularly for the sake of economy, for which my hon. friend from Marquette has made such a strong appeal, the responsibility for making appointments should be with the memibers of Parliament, whose duty it is to accept that responsibility. I am prepared to take the responsibility. If I have made a mistake and a man has been appointed who is not doing his duty, could I let that man stay in office? No, I would be the first to ask for his dismissal in the interests of the service. The outside service is not in the same position as the inside service, which has responsible heads. In the departmental offices here in Ottawa all the clerks are under the different heads. If a clerk does not know enough of his arithmetic or of his grammar-which is all that is required most of the time-the deputy minister or his chief puts him out-

Some hori. MEMBERS: Oh, no.

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LIB
LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

When a man is not fit for his job they put him in the Marine Department to stamp lobster labels.

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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

As I said a few moments ago in some of the minor positions in the service the responsibility is not large neither does any large amount of money pass through the hands of the office holder. On the other hand in the case of the customs service many officers become the custodians of very large sums. Such a man is under the supervision of his member, to use an expression that is quite common in the country constituencies; he is under the supervision of the man who formerly was responsible for his appointment and therefore he conducts himself with great circumspection. Now the action of the late government in bringing the Outside Service under the control of the Civil Service Commission was done without serious consideration, and is not likely to commend itself to the people when they think over the present situation. The government which is charged with the responsibility of looking after the larger interests of the country should be in a position to care for the smaller interests as well. Because, after all, it is very often the small things which play an important part in the happiness and prosperity of the people. In closing let me say that I think I have given utterance to nothing that is opposed to the principles of true democracy.

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CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

My hon. friend who has just taken his seat has not described the situation quite correctly. If this discussion proves anything it proves that the late government actually did abolish patronage.

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June 16, 1922