Let me make this 'clear. As long as I am the Minister of Labour, I will run my department. So far as I am concerned, let the sun shine in. I am one of the few people who never closes his office door. My door is always open, except when someone is in there talking to me. No official in my department is going to tell me what to do. They have said to me at times: "If I were you I would do this." But I have said: "You are not me; to be me you have to be elected" and that is not the easiest thing in the world.
My hon. friend can rest assured that these figures are in the Labour Gazette. They have been criticized as being handouts by departments. Let me be frank. Any member of this house, irrespective of what side he sits on, if he wants the information and asks me for it, he will get it. I have always maintained, as my hon. friend knows, that you cannot face a problem by running away from it.
As I said last night, it is sometimes not the wisest thing to do to quote figures from memory, especially in relation to a large department like the Department of Labour. I should like to impress upon my hon. friend the fact that employment is a dynamic thing; it is not static. There are changes from day to day; different people come and go, and so forth.
As I pointed out last night, 1,700,000 people passed through the employment service alone last year. Along with my hon. friend and other hon. members, I take pride in the efficiency of the labour department. I have been very fortunate in building that organization, to have a group of loyal civil servants-* exceptionally loyal, may I say.
I agree with my hon. friend that anything we can possibly do to meet the problems of my department will be done by my officials and myself. If he ever wants any information- it does not matter how uncomfortable it is
* from me, I will give it to him.
Topic: FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic: FRASER RIVER VALLEY-INQUIRY AS TO PRESENT SITUATION