July 6, 1903

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

On the question we were discussing before the hon. member for West Prince (Mr. Hackett) rose, I wish to ask one other question. Do I understand the hon. minister to say that when he puts an advertisement in the newspapers calling for tenders for the carrying of the mail between the two points, he states in that advertisement that one per cent will be deducted ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

It is not the practice to advertise all the specifications but to deposit a copy with the postmaster and at other places for the convenience of contemplating tenderers, and the advertisement informs the public where the form of contract may be seen. If the would-be-tenderer goes to the post office as he would have to do to get a form of tender he would have an opportunity of seeing the form of contract. I do not know that it is stated in the tender, but the tenderer lias an opportunity of knowing the facts.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Do I understand the Postmaster General to say that, notwithstanding the deducting of one per cent the maii-carrier has still to give bonds for the performance of his contract the same as before V

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I stated that.

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CON
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

To insure the surety as well as the contractor.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

For illustration, here is a man who carried the mail between two points ten miles apart for the former administration. When he signed the contract he was asked to give bonds for the carrying out of the contract. The bondsmen were his securities to the government. Under the new arrangement the mail-carrier is asked to pay one per cent of the contract price, and he still has to give the same bonds to the government. The fact is that the mail-carrier is made to pay and is not relieved at all of the amount of bonds he has to give for the performance of his contract. Now, what position would the mail-carrier have to take in order that the department might receive from this fund some advantage ?

Would he have to be an absconder, or be a man who did not fulfil his contract ? What wrong would he have to commit in order that something would be paid out of the fund that has accumulated under the one per cent deduction ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

If the mail contractor should, for any reason, cease to perform his contract and there was a difficulty in securing its performance by the sureties, the department would proceed to get the service performed in some other way, and if there was any loss, then it would have recourse to this fund to make good the loss.

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CON
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

Yes.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I want to draw the attention of the minister to a statement that appeared in the Toronto ' Star ' some time ago respecting the method that was to be adopted by the department in furnishing supplies for the post office. The Toronto ' Star ' is a paper very friendly to the hon. gentleman. Under the big heading ' Current wages and union hours-the stipulations for all who furnish post office supplies,' I find this item, dated Ottawa, August 28 :

Hon. William Mulock has decided that all men or firms furnishing supplies of all kinds to the Post Office Department must pay the current rate of wages to their employees and adopt the union hours of labour. This applies to goods whether sold under contract or not. At present the regulations apply only to contracts, but the principle has now been extended so as to become operative in the case of all who are on the patronage list of the department. Hereafter all persons who sell goods to the Post Office Department will have to make a sworn declaration that they have complied with the new regulation before they will receive payment.

I propose, when this matter is brought up further, to ask the hon. gentleman for a copy of the sworn declaration referred to, and also for an explanation as to what is meant by this despatch, whether it is correct or not, and if this regulation is well enforced.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

If the hon. gentleman will let me have the article, I will see that the Information is obtained, and will produce a copy of the affidavit.

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CON
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I may be able to give that information as well, hut I will not make any promise.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I understand the hon. gentleman is willing, provided that these items ' Miscellaneous and Yukon Territory ' are allowed to pass, that when his estimates come up again the subjects may he fully gone into and discussed.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

Yes, everything in my department, inside and outside, may be discussed.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Would the minister state what that fund has amounted to arising from the deduction of one per cent for mail-carriers ? How much has been paid out of it since it was created ?

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I will have to get that information for the hon. gentleman.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It is understood that on all these items we are passing now, one-fifth has been already passed, so we are voting now in all these cases the other four-fifths.

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July 6, 1903