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REPORTS OF COMMITTEE ON FORESTS   91

Commission should exercise its influence to secure the early reservation of these additional areas of non-agricultural lands.

 

CIVIL SERVICE REFORM

The merit system of appointments is not yet in effect in the field service of the Dominion Forestry Branch. The passage of the proposed Civil Service Act would presumably lead to an order in council putting this very necessary reform into effect, together with others. However, there now seems to be some doubt as to whether this legislation will be enacted during the coming session of Parliament. All experience goes to show that a really efficient field service cannot be developed under the patronage system of appointment, and it is believed that, in the interests of forestry, the adoption of the merit system should be brought about at the earliest possible moment. The Canadian Forestry Association has also urged this reform for years, and it has been recommended by Sir George Murray in his report to the Dominion Government. It is understood that favourable assurances have been given by the Government. It appears, however, that the enactment of the new Civil Service Act is not essential to this action, but that it can be taken at any time by an order in council, under existing legislation, which action would still be necessary even under the proposed new Act. It is therefore believed that, whether the new Act is passed or not, at the coming session of Parliament, the Government should be strongly urged to issue an order in council placing the field force of the Dominion Forestry Branch in the inside service, and providing for the filling of all places by competitive examination. Many of the force, as at present constituted, are fully competent, but many others are not, and provision should be made for appointing qualified men. This is most urgently needed at the present time to place Dominion forestry on a satisfactory basis.

It should also not be overlooked that similar action is necessary as to the forestry and fire-protective services of the several provincial governments.

FORESTRY ON DOMINION LANDS

We are still faced with the anomalous situation of a practically complete divorce between the theory and practice of forestry on Dominion lands held under license to cut timber. This matter was discussed last year, on the basis of a report made for the Commission by J. H. White, of the Faculty of Forestry, Toronto. It was then shown that, while the Forestry Branch is well equipped with men technically trained in forestry and is administering the forest reserves, as well as affording fire-protection both within and outside these reserves, it has abso-


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