February 26, 1901

CON

Charles Hibbert Tupper

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir CHARLES HIBBERT TUPPER.

Up to 1899 my statement would be correct, that the service they performed up to July, 1899, was not charged by the Police Department against the Post Office Department.

I would be obliged if the hon. gentleman would tell me if that is correct.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I have not brought any figures with me about the previous year. The subject was thoroughly discussed, and my recollection is that in in debate which took place last year upon the subject, I explained what I am trying to explain to-day, that I desired as far as possible to keep the Yukon service apart from the rest of the service in order the better to compare one administration with another. Whilst mail service was performed at the commencement by the police, it was treated as previous governments had done

in the ease of the North-west Territories. In opening up new territories the late government used the police. They had the North-west Territories fund which covered services that later on were distributed among the various departments. We followed that example.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Charles Hibbert Tupper

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir CHARLES HILBERT T UPPER.

That practically comes to what I stated. I was not making an argument in the matter at all.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I do not think that the hon. gentleman should assume that I am admitting more than I intend to admit. There were some services which may have been included in the Yukon and some may not; some may have been performed by the police. But, it was not intended at any period to include in the general balance of the department the cost of administering the Yukon service.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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Charles Tupper

Sir CHARLES HIBBERT TOPPER.

That leaves the fact as I put it. My information was from memory listening to the lion. Postmaster General's own statement. The expenditure to July, 1899, was of course very extensive in a new and unsettled country, and the police did perform a very large amount, if not the whole, of the postal service, the carriage of mails, and so on. Not all the cost of that service was charged in the public accounts to the Post Office Department; that was charged to the maintenance of the police or the vote out of which they were paid. The argument that you would make out of this is another matter.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

Parliament voted money for the Yukon. I first brought in my estimates for a fixed sum, there being an item for the Yukon, and subsequently, when the estimates were being voted, it was included in the Yukon service -I think under the Department of the Interior-and the police were paid that sum, but when it appeared in the Supply Bill it was ear-marked as for the Yukon service, and in my report to parliament I think I gave the figures just as they have been given here in the text accompanying the annual statement.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Charles Hibbert Tupper

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir CHARLES HIBBERT TUPPER.

I understand exactly what the hon. gentleman lias said, but, outside of the questions that have been suggested and argued today and putting aside the tu quoque argument altogether, what the country wants to get at, irrespective of party views, is the real cost of the postal service. I do not understand why the lion. Postmaster General should wish to argue, instead of giving us the exact information at this stage that we are seeking to get. Instead of justifying himself, and saying that he has done exactly as was done before, it seems an easy road to reach as to what the ser-

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK.

vice has cost the country, and it is not an accurate statement, whether it occurs under Liberal or Conservative auspices, to exclude the cost of the service rendered by the police in carrying the mails from any statement as to the cost of the postal service. That was proportionately a very small affair until the Yukon was developed, but, after that, and under the hon. gentleman's regime, it was a very considerable matter. There is no question about that, because we can see what ail enormous amount the police have cost. There is this singular coincidence about that, regardless as to whether one or both parties pursued that system of making a statement to this House as to what each service lias cost, that it does not appear in regard to other departments. For instance, if the Marine Department, or the Department of Public Works, rendered a service to the Customs Department in connection with their vessels and matters of that kind, we find these charges are made by one department against the other for the service showing what each particular charge was, and what each service cost the country. It is a matter of book-keeping, it all comes out of one purse, but the statement would not be accurate, unless the books were kept in that way. That system obtains between all the departments, I think, but not in the Post Office Department, and the hon. gentleman's boast, a large part of it, perhaps, justifiable today in regard to the buoyant condition of matters in connection witli the postal service which he has been able to make, would be materially affected if lie had disclosed the whole of the facts, and had not desired to exclude from the cost of the postal service a large amount that was paid out to the police which does not appear in the statement which he has made.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Britton) comes to the rescue of the hon. Postmaster General, and says that any one taking up the report must, after looking over it, see where the discrepancy is, and is not likely to be misled. If any person unfamiliar with the report wished to see whether the Post Office Department was self-sustaining or not, where would he look for it ? Would he not look in the column of figures which the hon. Postmaster General has given us in his own report, and which contains the following :

The following statement shows the deficit upon the department's operations for the year ended June 30, 1896, and the revenue, expenditure and deficit for each of the succeeding years.

Would he not be likely to look there for it ? If not, then it is certainly misleading the public, because this is the only place that it should be expected to be found. He takes up the report and finds by it that there was a deficit of $461,661, for the last financial year. Any one who contradicts that, is contradicting the blue-book, which is the

only official record we can look to for information. I take up tlie public accounts and find that tliey give some of tlie items of expenditure and revenue of the Post Office Department which is not in this list. The report shows that $112,368 are left out, being the expenditure of the Yukon district, and if you add that to the other you have a deficit, not of $461,661, but of $553,000. Yet the lion. Postmaster General says that it is not misleading, and the hon. member for Kingston comes to his recue and says that no person would be misled by it. Surely in private life he would not conduct his book-keeping in that way. That part of the hon. gentleman's remarks was very interesting to me, but there was another part of the hon. Postmaster General's speech which was also interesting, and that was the acknowledgment that he would not stand by any reports of the speeches that he had made in the country during the late election. It will be rather interesting reading to the people of East Grey, who listened to him during the campaign when he told them so positively and when liis candidate told them so positively of the marvellous things he had accomplished during the time that he has been in charge of the department. This was said not at one place, but at four different places from the Monitor's report of his and Hoolman's speeches at Meaford :

Mr. Hartman briefly reviewed our postal service, which UDder the Conservative administration had a yearly deficit of over $700,000, and which, under the able management and wise economy of Mr. Mulock, had been reduced to less than $100,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Hon. gentlemen cheer that, and say hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Do they mean to say by that cheer that this statement is correct ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Do they, or what do they mean ? Do they mean to cast ridicule upon the words of the friend who stated it ? Do they mean to say that the hon. Postmaster General was worthy of respect when he misled the people by such a statement ? Is that why they cheer ? If it is, then I can only say they cheer to their own shame.

And it would soon be self-sustaining. All this had been accomplished with the present reduction in the postal rates from 3 to 2 cents.

I do not wish to detract one iota from the credit due to the hon. Postmaster General for anything that he has accomplished. I say that he is entitled to credit for reducing the rate of postage, and for anything he has accomplished in the way of economy or 15}

good management I am willing to give him the utmost credit. But I am not willing to allow the Postmaster General to mislead the people of my constituency without trying to set them right. When he tells the House to-day that he will not be bound by that statement he then made, it will be interesting reading to the people of East Grey who listened to him in November last. One of his friends on the platform, speaking against me, said : ' This is only the statement of the member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) against the statement of the Postmaster General ; whose statement will you take ? ' He followed that up by saying that a minister of the Crown who would stand up on a platform and make that statement, if it was not correct, was unworthy of respect as a public man. But now the Postmaster General stands up here and tells us that in the month of July of that year the revenue was running behind, that it ran more behind in October and November, and yet it was in the month of November that he made this incorrect statement in East Grey. His friends then told us that if they had the report of the last financial year it would show that there was an increase in the revenue of the Post Office Department all the time, and a decrease in expenditure, and it would prove that the Post Office Department was self-sustaining. But now the Postmaster General tells the House that the revenue was decreasing at that very time. As a defence, he tells us that in the month of January of this present year, there is an increase in revenue, and that what he meant to convey to the people of Canada was that if lie took into account the present increase of revenue, he would be justified in asserting that the revenue and expenditure would balance in a short time. But does he not see that this increase in revenue took place two months after he made that misleading statement to the people of East Grey ? When he tells us to-day that he is not willing to stand by the statement he made solemnly on the platform, he makes an admission that I do not believe that any other member of his party would be guilty of. I am glad to know that the people of the country have been set right in this matter, because in future they will know just how much weight to attach to any statement made by the Postmaster General (Hon. Mr. Mulock.)

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

It certainly does seem to me that the statement on the first page of the Postmaster General's Report is, to say the least, somewhat misleading. If any one were sufficiently familiar with the report and should carefully look through it, no doubt he might find out after some research, that the Yukon expenditure is not included, but on the page before me there is not the slightest qualification to show that this expenditure does not include the

whole of Canada. The Postmaster General (Hon. Mr. Mulock) explains that for the purpose of comparison, we should not include the Yukon, because the Yukon was not included in previous years. I would like to point out to the hon. gentleman that his brother Minister of Customs (Hon. Mr. Paterson) is a sinner, if the Postmaster General himself is right, because I notice that the customs revenue for two or three years past has included very large sums from the Yukon, and last year it included no less a sum from this source than $613,191.97. 1 desire to point out to the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Mulock) that when the Minister of Customs is comparing one year with another he includes the Yukon, but when the Postmaster General goes on the platform to compare one fiscal year with another, he omits the Yukon. If the Postmaster General thinks it fair to leave out the Yukon with respect to the expenditure in his department, I trusi that he will see that his brother ministers will leave out the Yukon when they come to compare the revenue of one year with the revenue of another. The two things are exactly on the same basis, but in the one case the ministers do not charge the expenditures on the Yukon, while in the other they take good care to credit themselves with the revenue from that territory.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

If the hon. gentleman from Lanark (Hon. Mr. Hag-gart) will turn to the report of the auditors who balanced up the account of the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1896, he will there find the following results. Over the signatures of the auditors in question, is the following :

The revenue of the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1896, amounted to $3,957,798.51, which, deducted from the cost of maintenance, $4,985,327.53, leaves a deficit of $1,027,529.02. Heretofore it has not been the practice to treat the amount expended under the head of civil government as a charge against the department, and were such a practice adhered to the deficit of $1,027,529.02 would be reduced by $246,376.83, leaving the outside service shortage $781,152.19.

That audit is purely and simply for services rendered for the fiscal year ending the 30th June, 1896, and it does not include any disbursement for service prior to that year. That was all carefully eliminated by the auditors, and the sum given represents the gross cost of the service for the year, on the theory that you pay and charge each year for the service rendered in that year. If the old deficit, rolled up year after year, amounting to between $600,000 and $700,000, were to have been added, instead of the auditors reporting a deficit of $781,000, they would have reported a deficit of nearly twice that. This deficit of 1896 does not include any overlapping. It does not include any five quarterly expenses on con-Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

tracts or anything like that. It is simply for the actual year 1896, and that was the shortage for that year, according to these auditors.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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Hon. Mr. HAG GART@

I will take the

published accounts of the Post Office Department of revenue and expenditure, and I suppose it will be accepted as a final settlement of our dispute on this matter. In 1896 the gross revenue of the department was $4,005,890.77 ; net revenue, $2,964,014.13. The deductions from revenue were $1,041,876.54, and paid by check, $3,593,647. I would like to know what changes were made in the law when we went out-in July, 1896, if I remember rightly-leading to increased receipts in the department in 1897. The gross revenue in that year was $4,311,242 ; the net revenue was $3,202,938 ; the deductions from revenue amounted to $1,158,840 ; and the amount paid by check was $3,575,411. All the possible economies for which the hon. gentleman can take credit must be in the deductions from revenue. Of course, he did not alter the amount of the receipts of the post offices in the different cities, towns and villages. His reductions must solely be in the amounts paid by check. Was there any alteration in the law or in anything else for which he could take credit by which the revenue would be more buoyant ? If he takes credit for reductions in the payments for carrying mails, these reductions must be found in the gross payments made by check ; and the difference between that year and the preceding year was the difference between $3,7S9,000 and $3,575,000. His gross revenue for 1899 is $4,325,000 and his net revenue $3,182,000, or $400,000 less than that of the preceding year ; the deductions from revenue amount to $142,000, or only $16,000 less than those of the preceding year; and the amount paid on contracts, notwithstanding the deductions from revenue, is greater by $6,000 than that of the preceding year. The amount paid by check is $3,381,000. Now, we will take the year 1900. The gross revenue is $4,345,822 ; the net revenue is $3,183,984 ; the deductions from revenue are $1,161,000, or more by nearly $20,000 than those of the preceding year, although the rate was nearly the same ; and the amount paid by check was $3,645,646. These are the figures of the hon. gentleman's own report, and I would like him to explain to me where his economies are, and what his alterations in the management of his office have been to cause those economies. What are the reductions made between 1896 and 1897 7 The only possible reductions would be in the amounts paid to contractors for carrying the mails, and these, I will venture to say, could not have been more than $40,000 or $50,000. Therefore, we have this misleading statement put before the country, that by some act of the Postmaster

General since he came into office, a deficit of $780,000 was virtually turned into something that was not a deficit at all. The hon. gentleman admits now a deficit of nearly $500,000, which he says was caused by a reduction from the three-cent to the two-cent rate. Very likely that is so ; but there is a deficit of $500,000 ; and 'the hon. gentleman promises that three or four years from now the accounts will perhaps balance. I doubt that very much. If they do, it will be entirely owing to the prosperity of the country. It may be that the reduction in the rate of postage does not actually cause a reduction of revenue, as people may send more letters ; but the fact remains that in the payments made by the department, which is the true test of economical management, there is no such saving as the hon. gentleman states.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Will the hon. Postmaster General tell the House whether he has under consideration an improvement of the parcel delivery system, and also, whether it is his intention to unify the postal notes and the money orders ? Of all the public *departments the Post Office Department is the one to which the people are constantly looking for improvements. I believe great improvements can be made in the parcel delivery system, and still further improvements in the transmission of small sums of money by mail, and these are certainly divisions of public service which can constantly be expanded for the benefit of the people. I trust that the post office will go ahead of the express companies and cheapen in every possible way the transmission of parcels and small sums of money.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

With regard to an improved system of handling parcels, we are now establishing parcel post boxes, and we are endeavouring to make use of the automobile system to facilitate the collection and distribution of mail matter, including, of course, parcels. Last fall we bought two or three locomobiles, aud we are having made six quadracycles for the city of Toronto. With reference to postal notes and money orders, I cannot say that we are considering at the present moment the subject of abolishing either one or the other, or amalgamating the two classes of service. They are very different in their character. The postal note is for the transmission of small sums not exceeding $5, and is somewhat in the nature of a check. The money order is a different thing altogether, the name of the payee not appearing on the face of it, and the order not being payable except to the person named in the advice note which is sent by the postmaster who issues the order to the postmaster on whom the order is made. Whether in time they can be united into *one document remains to be seen. In the United States, they are getting up an order

now that looks very much like a fusion of the postal note and the money order. A few months ago an officer of the United States postal department came to Canada and had an interview with our officers on the subject of a free interchange of money orders, and negotiations are now going on with the view of facilitating that 'business. They have sent to us a form of order, which looks to me very much like a fusion of the postal note and money order. They have no postal notes, and their money order differs very materially from ours ; and as ours has been in force in its present form so many years, I hesitate to make any material change by abolishing it and adopting instead something like the postal note or check payable to the person named in the face of the document itself.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CORONATION OATH.
Subtopic:   VISIT OF THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL AND YORK.
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February 26, 1901