March 30, 1931

LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

I should like to get

some information from the Prime Minister in connection with this matter. There are rumours that retrenchments are to be made in the civil service, and that the employees of one department in particular, the Interior department, are to be placed elsewhere. I should like to know if, in considering the retention of employees in the service or their placement elsewhere, the government will give a preference to native-born Canadians. I am in receipt of a resolution from the Native Sons of Canada, asking that such a preference be given. I am sorry that I have not the resolution here; it is in my room, but if the Prime Minister will allow me, I will send him a copy of it. This is an influential society, which is taking a great interest in the affairs of the Dominion, and it recommends that so far as possible native-born Canadians be retained in the service in preference to non-Canadians.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman-Central,

please get me a connection with the ministry! The line seems to be busy. I want to speak to the right hon. the Prime Minister. Ah, I see the line which was out of order has now been repaired and that I have the attention of the right hon. gentleman. I would ask him once more, what is the policy of the government. regarding civil service employees. This question has frequently been discussed in the press, and I would like to know what is going to happen. If the Civil Service Commission

Supply-Civil Service Commission

is abolished, will all the present employees be dismissed? Will there be a complete change of staffs in the departments?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Hon. members laugh; but I am serious. The Prime Minister smiles. I like to see him smile. He is at his best then; it is the natural thing for him to do. Apparently, Mr. Chairman, the line has got out of order again. It is very sad, Mr. Chairman, to have such a disgraceful experience.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Some hon. gentlemen say, " hear, hear." It shows that they understand. They are not deaf, but they are dumb. Yes, they are dumb. La chatte leur a mange la langue. The cat has eaten their tongue; they do not speak; they have nothing to say. They think a lot; in fact they think so much they have nothing to say. Yes, they think all the time. My hon. friends opposite remind me of a very clever little boy who went to see his grandfather and spoke to him about candy.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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An hon. MEMBER:

The hon. gentleman

is wasting the time of the house.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well, well, listen. The

little boy said: " II ne parle pas." I would say that of the right hon. the Prime Minister. I wonder if the right hon. gentleman said all he had to say during the last election campaign.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I am reminded of the

bright sunshine which follows a long period of rain. The smile of my right hon. friend might be likened to that sunshine. However we on this side of the house are just poking little jokes at him to keep him in good humour. As he is in good humour now I would like to have an answer.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Sit down.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

No, I am not here to sit down. My right hon. friend knows that as soon as he gets up I will sit down. Until that time, however, I will claim my right and privilege as a member of this house to ask for all available information in the matter. To be dumb is a contagious disease, and I am afraid my hon. friends on the other side of the house are stricken with that complaint, except for purposes of heckling. They make no answer. I would like to know if an answer 22110-261

is to come. Will it come? And from where will it come? The hon. the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan) who is in charge of the Civil Service Commission is not in the house and the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) is piloting the estimates. I know very well that the Prime Minister must be familiar with all the details in connection with those estimates and I would be very thankful if he would tell us something about them. The silence of my hon. friends opposite reminds me of a practice which prevailed at college. When I attended school there was a period called le grand silence which extended from eight o'clock in the evening until six o'clock in the morning, and in that time nobody was allowed to speak. To-day we have a similar situation; no hon. members on the other side of the house will speak. Well, we have some doctors in the house. We have the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion) who is a doctor. I wonder why he does not cure the dumbness of the Prime Minister. The hon. gentleman is a doctor and I am told he is a very good one. Then there is the hon. the Minister of Health (Mr. MadLaren) and hie is a doctor. Is it not a disease to be dumb? The hon. gentleman does not say a word. Perhaps he is suffering from that contagious disease. I think the right hon. gentleman should delegate his first medical officer in the department to cure the dumbness of all the Tories on the other side of thie house. I am pleased to bring to the attention of the Minister of Health the illness of my hon. friends opposite. No answer; wre must have Rip Van Winkle before us. La belle au bois dormant.

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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

May I ask the right hon. the Prime Minister if this $20,000 is to pay the printing account; is it going to the Printing Bureau?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Yes, partially, but not wholly.

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LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

A few minutes ago I raised a point in all seriousness and I would like to have an expression of opinion by the government.

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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I hold myself in readiness to answer any question which may be directed to an item under consideration by the committee and to furnish all information available in the departments of this country in regard to items in question. This item does not affect the question of employees; no part of the money is to pay the salaries

Supply-Miscellaneous

of employees. The balance 'that was overexpended was with respect to printing and contingencies. The question of reorganization will be made known in due course, but, as my hon. friend will appreciate, a discussion of that question is not relevant at the present time.

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LIB

March 30, 1931