May 25, 1943



On the orders of the day:


John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

I desire to direct a question to the Prime Minister. Has the Canadian government yet received a detailed statement of the British plan for a world food bank, referred to by Chairman Richard Law in an article appearing in yesterday's Canadian press from Hot Springs, Virginia?


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

My hon. friend was kind enough to advise me of his question in advance. The memorandum submitted to the united nations food conference by the United Kingdom delegation last week, the full text of which has been printed in a number of Canadian newspapers, was prepared by the United Kingdom government and submitted to the conference for study and consideration. Canada is represented at the conference to

72537-189J ,

which this memorandum has been submitted, but naturally did not participate in the drafting of the United Kingdom plan. Progress reports on the discussion taking place are being received from time to time by the Canadian delegation, and after the conference is concluded and the delegation returns to Canada a statement of what it has accomplished, and of plans for further action, will be made in the house.




On the orders of the day:


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Yesterday the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Esling) asked the following question:

In view of recent press dispatches can the Prime Minister inform the house whether this government has been approached .by the United States government for permission to construct storage dams on the Columbia and Pend d'Oreille rivers north of the international boundary?

I was not in a position to answer the question at the moment, although I knew that some weeks ago no approach had been made, and I may now inform the hon. member that the United States government has not up to the present approached the Canadian government with regard to this matter.




On the orders of the day: Mr. NORMAN J. M. LOCKHART (Lincoln): There is a matter which I desire to direct to the attention of the government, presumably of the Prime Minister. It arises out of a letter, a copy of which I have just received, from the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs. It is dated February 15, 1943, and reads in part: . . . in view of the war-time necessity of conserving paper and the reduced demand for passports, a new method of distributing passport application forms has had to be adopted. I rather question the necessity of conserving paper, and I think members of the house will perhaps bear me out in that regard. However, I would point out that according to this letter it is necessary to apply individually to Ottawa td obtain these passport applications for renewals. At border points that is War Appropriation-Army

a serious handicap. Very often emergencies arise and a person with a current passport cannot rush down-at any rate, I am so informed-and get one of these temporary applications, and cross on a visa, a temporary crossing permit. It seems to me that some medium ought to be established, particularly at points along the border through which not only application forms but renewal forms might be obtained without a great deal of trouble and delay. I suggest to the Prime Minister that his department should do something to facilitate the distribution of these forms, because the excuse about the conservation of paper is something I cannot concede. Distribution should be facilitated particularly at border points so that people may be able to obtain the forms instead of having to write individually. I was told that we had to submit the name of the person desiring an extended passport before we could get an application form. The thing has gone from one extreme to the other. Right Hon. W. L.' MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): I did answer a question some little time ago which was similar to the one with which my hon. friend began his remarks, but I should like to look very carefully into what he has said before attempting to give a further answer. I shall seek to give it to him to-morrow if possible.



The house resumed from Monday, May 24, consideration in committee of a resolution to grant to his majesty certain sums of money for the carrying out of measures consequent upon the existence of a state of war-Mr. Ilsley-Mr. Bradette in the chair.


1. Civil salaries and wages, $8,832,687.


James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)


Hon J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

Last evening I gave some figures regarding civilian personnel which is provided for under this item. I gave the number of employees in the different military branches at Ottawa and in the different military districts. On checking these figures last night I found that there are certain special establishments and activities in connection with which civilian personnel are employed and which are covered by this item. These total 966 persons and they should be added to the total of 7,466 which was given last night and which appears

iMr. Lockhart.]

on page 2978 of Hansard. The establishments to which these 966 persons would be allotted are Canadian military headquarters in London, other units overseas, certain army trade schools, officers' training centres, cadet services and miscellaneous activities.


Jean-François Pouliot



Mr. Chairman, I shall try to be just as cool as a block of ice. We are dealing with item No. 1, civil salaries and wages, $8,832,687. This is a good occasion to apply my theories on auditing and accounting. They are not new. My argument will be based, first, on the departmental reports; second, on the estimates, and, third, on the [DOT]auditor general's reports. I found I had to do some statutory work which involved the reconstruction of the law in order to know the effect of subsequent amendments. As the reports of the auditor general with regard to the militia branch, and the departmental reports with regard to the militia branch, amount to practically nothing, I shall have to reconstitute the whole thing in my references to past reports.

I have in my hand reports of the Department of National Defence from 1938-39 down to the present fiscal year. The report which covered the twelve months ending March 31, 1939, contained 118 pages. Thirteen pages had to do with naval services, and 16 pages with air services, so that subtracting the total of these two, 29 pages, from the 118 pages, leaves

89 pages having to do with militia affairs. In 1939-40 the report contained 114 pages, less 4 for naval services, and 20 for air services, leaving

90 pages for the militia branch. Seven or eight pages were taken up in connection with general activities of the three branches of the armed services. In 1940-41 the report contained only 39 pages. This was the first year in which the present incumbent was in charge of the department. Five pages were taken for naval services, and 10 pages for air services, which left only 24 pages for the militia. In 1941-42 the report contained 48 pages. Five pages had reference to naval services, 12 pages to air services, which left 31 pages for the militia branch.

The report of 1938-39 was submitted to the governor general by the then Minister of National Defence who is now Minister of Pensions and National Health. It was prepared by the present Minister of National War Services, who was then Deputy Minister of National Defence. I am satisfied with that report. The following year the report was signed by Mr. Maelachlan and Colonel DesRosiers, joint deputy ministers of national defence. The fiscal year ended on March 31, 1940, and the

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Hon, Norman Rogers was killed in June, 1940. This was the last report issued when he was head of the department. These two reports contained eighty-nine and ninety pages respectively for the militia branch, but since the present incumbent took charge the militia branch activities have covered only twenty-four and thirty-one pages.

Let us look at the estimates for some of these years. I have the estimates for 1938-39, 1939^40, and the fiscal year which will end on March 31 next. I have made a tabulation, which shows that for the fiscal year 1938-39 the militia estimates amounted to something over $34,000,000; the militia items numbered nineteen and the details of services covered six pages. In the following year, 1939-40, the main estimates provided a total of $63,435,000 for the militia department; the items numbered twenty-eight and the details of services covered nine pages, though in that year the actual expenditures amounted to $125,679,000. For the year 1943-44 * there is an item of $40,510.42, involving eleven militia items, with the details of services on one page. Now we have before us an estimate of $1,764,000,000, covering eleven militia items. In other words there were eleven militia items covered by $40,000 and now we have eleven militia items covered by $1,764,000,000- Is that a satisfactory proportion? One has only to divide $40,000 by eieven and also to divide $1,764,000,000 by eleven to see the proportion that exists in this regard.

Then let us take the auditor general's report. In 1938-39, when the expenditure was just over $34,000,000, this department was given seventy-seven pages in the auditor general's report. In 1939-40, when the expenditure was $125,000,000, the number of pages in the auditor general's report was decreased to forty-four; in other words when the expenditure was about four and a half times greater, the pages of details were approximately only two-fifths fewer. Mark you, sir; seventy-seven pages in 1938-39, the last year of peace, for an expenditure of $34,000,000; forty-four pages for an expenditure of S125,000,000 in 1940, the first year of the war, and ever since then the expenditure has been increasing while the number of pages in the auditor general's report has been decreasing. You will be astonished, sir, to learn that in 1940-41 this department covered only five and a half pages in the auditor general's report, and the same in 194142. The details were given only in regard to a small amount, approximately $40,000; for the rest we have no information.

My contention, Mr. Chairman, is that there is no possible justification for refusing to give the house and the country details as to the expenditures of this department in Ottawa. If we compare the estimates for this year, 1943-44. with those of 1940, which bear the signature of the present incumbent though they cover the last year of service of a gentleman who was respectful of the old parliamentary tradition of rendering detailed accounts to the House of Commons, we see that only the minor items have been put in. Out of respect to the memory of the late Hon. Norman Rogers I must mention the fact that in the main estimates of 1939-40 there appeared item No. 173, covering departmental administration, amounting to $438,900. I submit that the salaries paid in Ottawa to all those employed here should be shown separately in the estimates; I do not think even the minister should object to that. There were small items then, as there are small items now; for instance, item 174 covers grants to military associations and amounts to $11,600. In 1939-40 it was item No. 189. Then item No. 176 was item No. 209, in 1939-40; items 177 to 182 were items 212 to 216. Two have been added, but they are relatively small, amounting to $40,000. The total in the main estimates of 1939-40, the first year of the war, when Mr. Rogers was minister, was $63,435,000; that was shown in the estimates. Compare that with $40,510 which is shown this year. I submit, sir, that instead of having these estimates appearing in a forgotten copy of Hansard, they should appear in the main estimates. I do not suggest that the Minister of Finance should not table the estimates, because all payments come under his department, but on the other hand I submit that the estimates we are discussing now should appear not in Hansard but in the main estimates.

Now, sir, I come to civil salaries and wages. Last year was the first time such an item appeared in the estimates. We have it again this year, but no details are given. There is no rendering of accounts. The last accounts we have are for the year 1941-42, which is over a year ago. What has happened since, we do not know. The last fiscal year ended March 31, 1943. We will have those accounts only when the next session comes round. I find it is most unsatisfactory to have accounts covering a period so long expired. .

I come again to the departmental reports. I have been struck by what has been said concerning the item now before us, namely that respecting civil salaries and wages. In the report for the year 1938-39 there is an item

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for civilian personnel. The following statement shows the number of employees on March 31, 1939, at Ottawa and1 elsewhere:

siderably. The following statement shows the number of employees on March 31, 1941, at Ottawa and at outside points in Canada:

At Ottawa- Permanent Temporary

Number of employees March 31,1939

. 280

. 210

Outside Ottawa-[DOT]

Permanent 326

Temporary 611

Mechanics and skilled and unskilled labourers at Dominion

Arsenal, Quebec 646

Workmen at naval dockyards,

Halifax and Esquimalt 163

Number of employees March 31, 1941

Naval services-

At Ottawa 535

Outside Ottawa 538

Total 1,073

Army services-

At Ottaw-a 1,625

Outside Ottawa 1,843

Total 3,468


Net increase 185

That was the number of civilian personnel when the present Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) was at the head of the Department of National Defence, and when the present Minister of National War Sendees (Mr. LaFleche) was his deputy. Then, we find a different list for the year ending March 31, 1940. This report is for the last year the late Hon. Mr. Rogers was in charge of the department, and it was tabled by the present incumbent. The following statement shows the number of employees on March 31, 1940, at Ottawa and elsewhere:

Number of employees March 31,1940

At Ottawa-

Full time 1,858

Part time 1

Seasonal 48

Total 1,907

Outside Ottawa-

Full time 1,315

Part time 83

Seasonal 290

Total 1,688

Grand total 3,595

The following are not included in the above figures, i.e., skilled and unskilled classes of labour:

Dominion Arsenal P. Quebec 936

C. I. of A. & A 259

Halifax dockyard 328

Esquimalt dockyard 47

Total 1,570

This total of 1,570 must be added to the 3,595. Then, for the year ending March 31, 1941, the civilian personnel had increased con-

Air services-

At Ottawa 1,154

Outside Ottawa 2,487

Total 3,041

The following are not included in the above figures, i.e., skilled and unskilled classes of labour:

Dominion Arsenal, Quebec 3,445

Halifax dockyard 621

Esquimalt dockyard 49

Chief inspector of arms and

ammunition 0

Air services 6,864

Total 10,979

This latter figure must be added to the 3,641.

The situation is different to-day, because the Dominion arsenal has been transferred from the Department of National Defence to the Department of Munitions and Supply. At page 39 of the report of the Department of National Defence for the year ended March 31, 1942, we find this:

The following statement shows the number of employees on March 31, 1942, at Ottawa and at outside points in Canada:

Number of employees March 31, 1942

Naval services-

At Ottawa 1,033

Outside Ottawa 832

Total 1,865

Army services-

At Ottawa 2,405

Outside Ottawa 2,739

Total 5,144

Air .services-

At Ottawa.., 1,602

Outside Ottawa 3,853

Total 5,455

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I submit it is something to have the number of employees, but we must also know what they are doing. We must know how much they are being paid. Yesterday the minister said that information had never been given. Of course it has. If hon. members who have been kind enough to listen to me now would take time to go through the estimates for the years 1938-39, 1939-40, and previous years, they would find that while the names of those employed in the department are not mentioned in the estimates, the positions and salaries are mentioned. There is no reason why we should not have that information now.

An increase in the number on the staff is no justification for not informing the committee with respect to the positions among the civilian personnel in the department. We have to have that information in order to redress wrongs. We do not have it any more. Moreover, sir, the detailed expenditures which were found in part M in the auditor general's report for 1938-39, when the present Minister of Pensions and National Health was in charge of the Department of National Defence, and when his assistant was the present Minister of National War Services, covered 77 pages of the report. In that report were shown the salaries of everybody, and all expenditures of the department. That is a point I think should be made now. When the present auditor general was appointed, during the recess-I do not know if any hon. member was asked about that appointment- these things started to change, and the number of pages telling the country about the money spent for each one in the department and for each matter involved fell to forty-four; and in the last two years it has fallen to five and a half pages for a relatively small item of about $40,000. Well, this cannot be accepted. I wonder what representations have been made to the minister on. behalf of that change? What I know is that although there was a reduction in respect of the last year that the late Mr. Rogers was minister, we must bear in mind that he died in June, 1940, and the auditor general's reports were published a long time afterwards, after the present minister had every opportunity to make the changes he desired. And this I regret. I have already expressed regret that information detailing expenditures is not contained in a book which is not private information, which can be read by anybody, and should form a check, and a salutary check, on expenditures. It is a protection for the taxpayers of this country; and this is why, sir, I insist on a reformation of the estimates and on a reformation of the auditor general's report.

According to what the minister said yesterday, his civilian personnel consists mostly of clerks and minor employees. Of course the employees in the minister's office who do not wear the uniform must be included in this item of $8,800,000. He did not give us any detail about that, as all his colleagues excepting those in charge of the armed services have done. Why is there the exception in regard to the minister's staff here in Ottawa and those of his colleagues responsible for the other branches of the armed forces, when his other colleagues-the former minister of national defence, whom I see among the ministers who honour me by being here at the moment, the Ministers of Pensions and National Health, Public Works, Transport, National Revenue-all having large departments, mention in the estimates what is their staff? Why is there any exception for the three branches of the military forces? Can it help Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese to know howr much is paid to those who work in the minister's office? My remarks apply to all the army ministers, and my praise goes to their colleagues who follow the traditions. How is it that the government has two different ways of dealing with ministers' staffs? How is it that that information is not given to the House of Commons of Canada? How is it that it does not appear in the estimates nor in the auditor general's reports? Is there any sensible reason for that omission? The staff is increased.

At the opening of the sitting, just before I spoke, the minister made a correction, and I congratulate him upon being so precise in that information, but what he said did not inform us regarding those people who belong to the civilian personnel of his department. On the other hand, as I said yesterday, there are precedents for acting as the ministers of the military departments have done-I did not take the trouble to check the practice of the Department of Munitions and Supply; but what I state is correct; I wonder why they have not followed the traditions of the United States and Great Britain, by informing the people of this country of the expenditures for their own staffs. No hon. member will be so foolish as to criticize reasonable expenditure for the assistance of the ministers in their work. I know very well that, if he performs his work conscientiously, no minister can discharge his duties alone; naturally he needs some help. But in order that there shall be no abuse, a check must be made. I remember distinctly that, when one of the war departments-whether it was Munitions and Supply or National Defence for Air, I do not recall- was created, the Minister of National Defence

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for Air said in this chamber that every member of the staff would be appointed by the civil service commission. Was that done? No, sir. And yesterday, when the minister stated that an order in council was in force regarding appointments, he forgot to add- that at least one-half if not all of the major appointments in the three army departments, and probably also the Department of Muntions and Supply, are made, not by the civil service commission after a regular competition, but by order in council. Some of those people may be blanketed in to obtain a pension or superannuation allowance and to enjoy all increases which are given to civil servants who are regularly appointed-I mean, appointed in virtue of the Civil Service Act.

In most of the appointments made by the government, made by order in council without a previous test, there may be partisanship to a large degree. And, as those appointments are made without the knowledge of the public, as they are not all printed in the Canada Gazette, how can hon. members be informed of what is going on? What I want is clear and precise information regarding the employment of civil servants. I will tell the minister this, that in the year 1934, I believe in the month of June, I accompanied my friend Mitchell Hepburn, who was afterwards premier of. Ontario, and spoke with him in the armoury at Chatham. [DOT] On the way back from Wallaceburg, where I had spent the night, I asked him if a large number of men had been hired by the government of the day to work on the roads at the time of the election; and he said to me, "Watch out." The road was beautiful. It was a fine day and the highway required no repairs. But turning a corner I was surprised to see a multitude of men on an elevation about one hundred feet away from the road. Their task, their election task, was to bring that hill down. Each of the men had a pick in one hand and a shovel in the other, but they were so numerous and close together that they could not work at all for fear of injuring each other. That reminds me of the numbers of people who are employed in the war departments at the present time. That is why we have the right to know what these people are doing. When I say that, I remember what was said here in this building, in the civil service committee room, by Mr. Putman, who was then chief of the organization branch of the civil service commission. He was.speaking under oath-I had them all put under oath because I wanted the truth-and he admitted in giving his evidence that one consideration in improving the status of a civil

servant was the enlargement of his staff, meaning by that, that what was considered was not the work performed by an individual but how many people he had assisting him. Therefore, it was to the personal interest of a chief or sub-chief of a branch to surround himself with the largest number of assistants.


May 25, 1943