January 25, 1905


House in Committee of Supply. Post office-outside service, $1,694,238.50.


?

Hon. S@

When the committee rose yesterday I was explaining the increase of $125,06S in the outside service. I had got 64

down to the last classification of increases, namely, the increases in the city post offices, which amounted to $92,680.75. I propose now to give the details. I will give the increase by classes :

375 increases of $50 each $18,750 00

17S increases of $78.25 each 18,928 00

19 increases of $30 each 570 00

1 increase of $24 24 00

52 additional appointments 25,197 50

Short estimate 1904-5 30,210 75

Increase in provisional allowance.. .. 4,000 00

Total $92,680 75

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

There is no benefit in going over the list; if there are any special cases the hon. gentleman might mention them.

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

There is nothing special. But perhaps I might give some particulars of that estimate of $30,000. There is someting I ought to explain. There is a short estimate of $30,210.75, and an increase in the provisional allowances of $4,000. That $4,000 is to provide for increasing the staff of the Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria post offices, and to meet the increased expenditures, and the increases in the salaries of the staff. The hon. gentleman will remember there is an increased provisional allowance given to the staffs in all the cities west of Ontario.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

At what rate is that given now ?

iSir WILLIAM MULOCK. In Manitoba and British Columbia to employees whose salaries are $800 and under, the provisional allowance is at the rate of $15 a month, or $180 a year. That is given on account of the increased cost of living in the west over the cost in eastern Canada.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Is that on the same scale in Manitoba, the Northwest and British Columbia ?

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What difference is there between that scale now and the scale, say in 1896 ?

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Allow me to complete the statement. I gave the provisional allowance where the salary is under $800. Where the salary is over $800 and running up to $900, clerks are paid an amount which will make the total income reach $980, this being the amount that would be received by a Clerk whose salary is $800 a year. Where the salary is $900 and up to $1,200 a year, _the allowance is at the rate of 10 per cent of the salary. Railway mail clerks are paid a provisional allowance at the rate of $10 monthly if the salary is less than $800, and from $800 to $960, the allowance is 10 per cent on the salary. There is no allowance when the salary exceeds $960 a year. I am told that the rate at a

former period was $10 a month, and it is now $15.

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CON
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

When this increase was made it had been pressed upon us as a just provision. I think there is no doubt that in consequence of the recent de-\ elopment in Manitoba, and the large number of people going in there and into the Territories, the. cost of living has increased, and in British Columbia as well.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Has the minister any data upon which he makes that statement or is it just an impression ? What means has he taken to find out ? It would seem to me that, with the opening up of that country, the larger number of railways and better communication, more products in the country itself, and all that, the cost of living should not increase-I mean over and above the rate of increase in other parts of the Dominion. I think the rate of living has increased in Toronto for instance. But has it increased more largely after all this development in the west, has it increased more largely there than it has in the east ? The hon. gentleman knows that the provisional allowance was first given because there was a difference between the scale of living in the east and west. Now if the scale of living has increased in the east and is equal, to say no more, to the increase in the west, there is no justification for the increase in that provisional allowance. I would like to have some information so that we may know upon what basis this is done. I hope the time will soon come when we will be able to treat these employees in their several classes just the same all through the Dominion. I think these distinctions and discriminations should cease as soon as possible.

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

It is not just lately that the increase has been made. It is three years since the increase was made in the provisional allowances. Speaking from memory, my recollection is that information was obtained as to the increased rental, and the value of many of the necessaries of life, in consequence of the great growth in the cities of Winnipeg and Vancouver. There was a careful consideration of the question, and I will give to my hon. friend proof that this was a necessary step. We could not retain in the service in the Winnipeg post office any persons who were appointed at the salary allowed by law, and with the old provisional allowance ; they could do far better elsewhere, we could not get fhern to remain with us, and they complained that they could not even subsist reasonably on the allowance made. In fact, the difficulty was so great that until this was brought about, we had to transfer officers from the older districts having larger salaries, to Winnipeg, Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

giving them a provisional allowance. But since we have increased the provisional allowance we do not experience the same difficulty. This allowance was made in two steps. Frst of all, it was given to the staff in Manitoba, and it was represented to us that the same reasons existed for giving it to the staff in British Columbia ; and it was not possible, on looking into the matter, to resist the argument, it seemed to be well supported. There were communications of different kinds, members on both sides of the House brought this matter up in parliament and pressed it on the attention of the government; so it was not a haphazard step at all.

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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

Have all the clerks in the St. John post office received the statutory increase who were entitled to it by length of service ?

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

I am told that all the members of the staff of the St. John post office with one exception were given increases. That was an exception on merit. That one person was not considered entitled to the increase.

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CON
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Proper inquiry by the department. My deputy is unavoidably absent on account of some domestic affliction, but the accountant informs me that the deputy passed upon that case deliberately, and thought that the clerk in question was not entitled to his increase. I do not interfere with these matters at all.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What is the system ? Do you get reports from the postmasters.

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK- The practice is to require the superior officers-the postmasters-to report upon the merits of the different persons who are members of the staff, to furnish a good deal of detailed information and to give their opinion. The deputy in turn-

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CON

January 25, 1905