James Alexander CALDER

CALDER, The Hon. James Alexander, P.C., B.A.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
September 17, 1868
Deceased Date
July 20, 1956
lawyer, school administrator, teacher

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - September 21, 1921
  Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Immigration and Colonization (October 12, 1917 - July 9, 1920)
  • Minister of Agriculture (June 18, 1919 - August 11, 1919)
  • Minister of Militia and Defence (January 16, 1920 - January 23, 1920)
  • President of the Privy Council (July 10, 1920 - September 20, 1921)
  • Minister presiding over the Department of Health (July 10, 1920 - September 20, 1921)
  • Minister of Immigration and Colonization (July 10, 1920 - September 20, 1921)
September 22, 1921 - October 4, 1921
  Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)
December 11, 1942 - October 4, 1921
  Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 283)

June 3, 1921


We threshed out with

the commission the importance of effect or value of the word "practical," and no person is better acquainted with the evidence than my hon. friend is.

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June 3, 1921


That may be. I will

not discuss that phase of the matter just now.

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June 3, 1921


I think there are several positions in the Civil Service which they should not fill, which I do not think it in the public interest that they should fill.

"""" Mr. ETHIER: In regard to that class of exemption, one of the chief reasons given by the minister was the delays which on account of section 38 occurred in the appointment of civil servants. Here is a question put by Mr. Mackie:

Take, for instance, a mining rush up into a portion of the country under the jurisdiction of the Dominion fire rangers; it is found that a fire warden is immediately necessary in that district for safe-guarding from fires. If the department had to make application through the Civil Service Commission for a fire warden, and two or three months elapsed before the appointment was made, what is liable to happen in that country as the result of the delay?

That is a very reasonable question. This is the answer made by Dr. Roche:

-A. Evidently you are not acquainted with the provisions of the present Act. The department can put on a man to-day and keep him there for thirty days without our permission at all.

That is the law.

It is only after the employment has lasted for thirty days that we are asked to furnish a certificate. As a matter of fact, we can extend that time. In emergency appointments away from Ottawa-

And here is the point that concerns appointments in Australia, and other distant parts. What does Dr. Roche say:

In emergency appointments away from Ottawa the Civil Service Act provides that the department shall have the right to put on a man immediately, so that they do not have to wait.

So the reason given that delay in appointment caused inefficiency in the public service falls by this declaration and by the Act. I wish to quote another answer by Dr. Roche, in regard to the supposed facts alluded to by Mr. Mackie:

By Hon. Mr. Calder:

Q. What provision is there in the present law regarding- that?-A. Section 38 provides-and I am speaking in effect now-that where it is impracticable to apply the provisions of the Civil Service Act, the Civil Service Commission shall recommend to the Governor in Council the exemption of a particular class. I use that as an illustration to show the Commission is not grasping unnecessary work. Goodness knows, if they took away the whole outside service it would be a relief to us, but it is the principle of the thing we think would be unfortunate, but under that section of the Act the Commission found it would be better from the standpoint of the public service, rather than have constant irritation and friction going on between the department and the Commission, that the temporary appointments in connection with the Soldiers' Settlement Board should be removed from the operation of the Civil Service Act for two years. We recommended that until they could get down to their permanent establishment. The reason we did that was because the offices out West were taking on men and making promises of salaries that were beyond the salaries provided in the Civil Service Act, and we did not wish to be responsible for this.

The trouble did not come on account of the Act, but it came on account of the lack of co-operation between the Civil Service Commission and the deputy heads of those two departments.

They would take on men without knowledge of their qualifications at all, so that we recommended to the Governor in Council the exemption of these employees, and we did the same with the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment.

Those are two illustrations where the Civil Service Commission came to the conclusion that on account of such appointments being made under those circumstances it was impracticable to apply the law, and they r'ecommended the exemption of those two departments also. I continue: '

If it is found that there is any other class where it would be better for the service to be dealt with in this way, where it is impracticable or practically impossible to apply the Act, we would only be too pleased to recommend the exemption of that class under that section of the Act, and it does not require an amendment to the Act at all.

Am I not right in stating that this Bill is altogether useless and unnecessary when the chairman of the Civil Service Commission has given such evidence? The re-' port should have been based on his evidence, but it is not. Dr. Roche continues:

You may say, why have you not done that in connection with the postmaster?

That is a just reflection on the Bill'.

Well, because we have not discovered that any fault was found by the department, or that our system is not practical and working out to advantage. If it had been otherwise we would have asked for the exemption of the postmaster. It is only necessary to state that out of some thirty-eight hundred postmasters

appointed by the Civil Service Commission since February, 1913, there have not been complaints, directly or indirectly, made to the Civil Service Commission in more than one per cent of the cases. Can you find a system that can be devised by the mind of man where there is so little complaint? There are no doubt some complaints made that do not reach the Civil Service Commission, but they are of a political nature-that is the people here have not been educated up to the viewpoint that it is right and proper for any opponent of the Government to get any position, and therefore there has been in a locality some complaint, about a man being appointed because he was a supporter of the Government, but you cannot help that in connection with appointments under the merit system so that X say that is one ot the best illustrations to show the Act has not been operating to the detriment of the service. The Deputy Postmaster General has never complained that he is getting an inferior class of men, because we are utilizing his own officers, so that we can recommend the exemption of any class under the existing Act without amending it.

After this evidence alone it seems to me

and I believe it will be the view of other members-there was no reason for the original Bill, and it was not necessary to bring back the Bill in its amended form, for it still contains the idea which was behind the first Bill-a return to patronage. I think I have proved that this Bill was unnecessary, and that the purpose of it was to go back to political patronage, and that it was useless on account of not adequately covering the whole ground.

Now, as to delays-it covers that also- the delays were explained by some of the deputy heads of departments who came before the committee.

Take for example, the evidence of Mr. A. Johnston, Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries. I quote the following from the report of the evidence:

By Hon. Mr. Calder:

Q. I have heard it stated time and again that as a result of the action of Parliament in handing over to the Civil Service Commission the classification of the service and the fixing of schedules that there has been a struggle spread throughout the entire service grasping for higher positions and higher salaries because the whole mass of them do not get just what they want. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction?-A. That is my opinion. I had hoped to avoid saying it, but that at all events is my judgment.

By Mr. Griesbach:

Q. What about the discipline in the department?

A. So far as I am concerned, I have not a single complaint to make in the matter of discipline. I don't think the discipline in our department at all events has suffered in the slightest. I don't think so.

By Mr. Euler:

Q. Don't you think the unrest you speak of throughout the department among all classes is the result of the re-classification and that that will not be permanent?-A. It may not be permanent, but X have no expectation it is going to be permanently settled.

By Hon. Mr. Calder:

Q. Is the struggle still going on for higher classification on the part of the civil servants? -A. Yes, it is in our department.

Q. For higher salaries? Are they still appealing for higher salaries?-A. Yes, there are quite a number at the present time, I think.

Q. I suppose the time will come when that will all end?-A. Yes, but we will all be dead then.

It appears, therefore, from the evidence adduced before the committee in respect to one department-and it reflects the condition which prevails in all departments of the service-that any inefficiency which may exist is the result not of the Civil Service Act of 1918 but of the classification which was imposed on the commission -the classification made by Griffenhagen and Associates and Arthur Young and Company. In fact, the reorganization of the Post Office and Customs Departments is now actually proceeding; it is being done by Wolff, one of the associates of Griffenhagen. We were told at the beginning of the session that the services of these people were to be dispensed with on March 31, of this year; that the public service was to get rid of them, hut it appears that they are still working. I hope they will not do in the Post Office Department what they did in the Printing Bureau in destroying most important documents. The trouble, I say, is due not to the overloading of the commission with work but to the classification. It was stated before the committee that these so-called experts were asked by the commission to make this classification. I hold in my hand a copy of the Order in Council with regard to the appointment of these so-called experts. It is dated May 31, 1920, and reads as follows:

"The Committee of the Privy Council have had before them a report, dated 28th May, 1929, from the Minister of Trade and Commerce, submitting as follows:

The contract made with Arthur Young anld Company by the Civil Service Commission is about to expire and the work therein contracted for has been very nearly complete. This work included the production of a system of classification of the Civil Service and the reorganization of the Department of Public Printing and1 Stationery.

I hope that the report of Judge Snider will show how that reorganization was carried on in the Printing Bureau.

Arthur Young and Company have transferred to Griffenhagen and Associates, Limited, that branch of their work which specially has to do with the reorganization of municipal and governmental civil service and the organization of business corporations in respect to staff organization and plan of work of the Arthur Young Company upon the same plans and with the same efficiency as the original company and is

prepared to continue the reorganization/ of the public Departments of the Government along the tines pursued In the Department of Public Printing and Stationery. The Committee referred to has no hesitation in commending in the strongest possible way the work of Arthur Young and Company in connection with the reorganization of the Department of Public Printing.

Further on it says:

They are of opinion-

Referring to the committee of five.

that the services of Griffenhagen and Associates, Limited, should be retained.

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June 3, 1921


A stenographer, for


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June 3, 1921


Very fortunate.

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