June 3, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)

UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

1 saw him on my opponent's platform. My word is as good as his. He never even challenged the statement, and never asked the department to investigate the facts, as to whether he should be dismissed or not. If he thought he was not guilty he could easily have asked for an investigation. He knew very well there were hundreds of witnesses who would have told the truth about it, and he was guilty of this thing. He took his chances and he had to take his medicine, he and two others, and there was not one of them ever applied to the postal deparr-ment for investigation. If a civil servant to-day under the Act has the audacity to go out on the platform against an hon. gentleman in this House, I would be the first to say that man should lose his position. That absolutely justifies what I did. The Star is playing politics, as we all very well know. It was the most partisan journal all through the fight, and sent out a wagon load of its literature into my riding. Every farmer got two or three copies, but they voted for me just the same because they did not believe what the Star said. With reference to the Bill, I to some extent agree with the hon. gentleman who seconded that motion. I thought and I believed that the Bill should have been brought down, but I was confronted, and we were confronted before that committee all the way through, with the statement that the Civil Service Commission were unable to meet the situation through press of business. The question was summarized towards the close of the evidence by Mr. Calder who asked Dr. Roche at the close what he thought should be done. It will be found on page 365, and Dr. Roche stated there that he thought the proper thing to do, instead of adopting the Bill that we had there, was to make an amendment to clause 38, just as we have done. We have taken the advice of the commission, and it is up to the commission. This is what they wanted. They did not want to have a Bill with a long list in it. They wanted this amendment, and we granted them this amendment, doing exactly what they wished. For that reason, I do not see that there is any justification for anybody to rush out with a speech of an hour and a half defending the commission. I am quite willing to give them a fair chance, and that they should have another year, to see if they can get a classified list and to see what shall be done. I am quite willing
to say that there shall be an amendment, if it should come to that, added to the Bill, requiring the Civil Service Commission to report every year. I would go much further than the committee has done, because I believe we are building up a great big bureaucracy, which is the antithesis of autocracy. We have taken away from the people in the constituencies any right to say who shall be appointed, who shall' govern, and who shall act. We are taking everything in the way of administration away from them altogether. And we shall find the same condition will obtain in this country in a year or so as obtains in Great Britain, that nobody can become a member of this House unless he is able to spend $4,000 or $5,000 in his riding to maintain an organization. That is not democracy to my mind, and if anybody in this House searches his heart he will realize it is not. Under the old law the members of the committee in the various polling subdivisions were not clamorous for the various offices, but they thought they had something to do with governing the country, and they liked to feel that they would be consulted occasionally as to appointments. You have taken away all interest in parliamentary work from them with these bureaucratic methods, which are the absolute antithesis of democracy.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT, 1918, AMENDMENT
Full View