Well, Mr. Marshall was made a commissioner to study the problem of agriculture, and it was provided that he should be paid out of a fund voted for agriculture. My hon. friend wants me to give my opinion on the legality of the appointment and the payment of the salary. After reading that order in council, reading that section 38 C, and referring to chapter 104 of the revised statutes I say without any hesitation that the appointment is perfectly legal and the payment of the salary to Mr. Marshall regular.
There is no question at all about it, there is a reservation but there is no power given. I hope the minister is, with unprejudiced mind listening to what I say. There is no power whatever given by that section, and the minister could not, I will venture to say, bring the authorities of his office to say there is. There is a power reserved to the government, the intention of the act and the wording of the act being that the power is to reside there and is not by this act transferred to the commission. Now let me emphasize this again, and I hope the minister will grasp it. There is no power whatever given to appoint anybody or to do anything. How could the word "affect" be used if there is a power given?
Nothing in this act shall affect the powers of the Governor in Council with respect to the appointment of any commissioner.
Assuming that there were powers, which there were, this act does not affect those powers. Consequently the Governor in Council is thrown back upon the powers that there were. He is not given any more powers and he must exercise the powers that there were because no further powers are given. If the minister would just reserve this and take a little time to think it out there is no question but that the matter is not even debatable because no powers are given at all. The Governor in Council has to take all the powers there were, and those powers are reserved to the Governor in Council. The act makes quite clear that they are not affected and not transferred to the commission. What powers were there before? There were powers under the Inquiries Act. The government might have exercised those powers, but in the exercise of them they could not have made this appointment. They could not under the Inquiries Act have appointed a commissioner and paid him out of the Agricultural Instruction vote. They had to pay him out of
the vote applicable to the purpose. That is where there is a misappropriation of funds. The miscellaneous vote of parliament is applicable for a purpose. They did not want to go to that vote. Perhaps there were no moneys there. The only way they could appoint a commissioner was under the Inquiries Act, under the powers given them prior to the passing of section 38 C of the Civil Service Act. Further, had they appointed under the Inquiries Act, the inquirer would have had the powers given by that act and no other. All the restraints and restrictions of that act would have applied. That is the only kind of a commissioner they could have appointed. The powers to appoint that commissioner were reserved by section 38 C, but no new powers were given. If the minister had had time to go into it, and had given full consideration to the actual meaning of the English words,
I think he never would have expressed his opinion as a lawyer that they had the power. I suggest that he consult the officers of the department and bring an official opinion to this House. I confidently say that he cannot set them to give an opinion that any powers whatever are given to the government by section 38 C of the act.
did not ask me to give him the opinion of the officers of my department. He asked me for my opinion and I gave him an answer, taking section 38 C, the Inquiries Act and the order in council in conjunction-I gave my opinion candidly.
I think the minister means that his opinion is that a commissioner could be appointed under the Inquiries Act for the purpose of carrying out the object of that act, buit he will not find'-any one of those objects have any connection! with this man's work. He will find he has note called one witness and he will find that he has made absolutely no report, as called for by that section.
question, but if you read section 2 of chapter 104 of the revised statutes, you will find that the Governor in Council may, whenever he deems it expedient, cause inquiry to be made into and concerning any matter connected with the good government of Canada or the conduct of any part of the public business thereof. I do not know what Mr. Marshall has done or
omitted to do, but as to the legal point which has been raised, I consider that the appointment was' regular and that the payment was also regular.
that; there is no question about it, but this is not under this act. There was the power under that to have the inquiry as called for by the act, and that has not been done and is not being done. It was never thought of. The job was, thought of and the job is still going on. The minister has not answered what, to my mind, is the most vital thing. Here we have an order in council which, I agree with him, can only be supported under chapter 104. What right or what power is there in the case of a commissioner appointed under that section, to charge the expenses and cost to this agricultural vote?