September 5, 1917

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

The minister was to give information to the committee as to the rates charged, the rentals, the difference between the price charged to Liberals and the price charged to Conservatives, and so on.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

If a man who lives half a mile from -the line, has -a phone, he is charged $4.50 per annum. If he lives a mile away, the charge is $9.

Air. * CARVELL: Suppose he is on the line?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

If he uses the public telephone, be pays a certain fee.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Generally speaking, except in the case of a man who lives off the main line, there is no such thing -a.s a general rental system.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

No, any one has a right to use the public telephone and to pay for any message -that he sends ovct -the lines. Returns -are regularly sent in -as (to the number of messages and the to-ll-s collected.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

What are the rates

charged for a conversation over distances of 25, 50, 100 miles? There must he a certain schedule of tolls, according to the distance.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The rates are somewhat the same as .those charged by privately owned companies under -similar circumstances.

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

They charge so much per minute for the conversation, according to the distance. The method followed is the same as that adopted by, say, the Bell Tele-pohne Company-or, indeed, any other private company.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Does ith-e minister mean to tell the Committee that the Government puts up the poles and wines 'and establishes a telephone half a mile away from the main line for $4.50 a year? We bad better let the Government put in all the phones.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The people who use the public phones pay for their -messages; I have given the rates charged to persons who have their own phones,

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The revenue from all these systems is published in the annual report.

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LIB

Alexander William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM:

If I make a recommendation to the minister to give telephones to, say two or three persons in my district, will he give me an assurance that he will do so. I will give the minister my word of honour that I will recommend only persons qualified to use those telephones.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have stated the policy

adopted by the department. As I understand it, if a man applies for a telephone along the line, the department gives it to him, and it is practically made a public telephone. Whatever the policy is-and that is as I understand it-if the hon. member sends me the name of a party, I will see that he is put on that telephone line. There will be no discrimination. Every man will have the same right on that line, irrespective of politics or anything else. If a man, whether in my hon. friend's constituency or in any other portion of Canada, makes an application for a telephone on a government line, I will guarantee that the policy of giving the public the use of those telephones as freely as it can be given will be carried out,

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I notice in this report on telegraph statistics, which I have in my

hand, the gross revenue for 1916, on lines under the control of the Dominion Government, amounts to $181,227.04, while the expenses amount to $661,982.34. There is therefore, a very large deficit.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

That is the expenditure for the whole of Canada, including extensions of lines.

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LIB
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I have listened for a long time to this discussion which seems to be more or less of a family quarrel amongst hon. members from Nova Scotia. I have never before seen the minister begged so hard to refrain from giving hon. gentlemen money as the minister has been begged today. I feel like voicing the opinions of my hon. friend (Sir Sam Hughes) and the hon. member for Renfrew (Mr. Graham) that this- is an opportune time to ask the minister to turn his eyes to Ontario, the people of which province want the service that the people of Nova Scotia apparently do not desire.

While I quite understand it is hard to strike out an item that has been inserted after mature deliberation on the part of tlie officials surely the 'minister can do so this afternoon after the heckling he has received from the hon. member for Guys-borough (Mr. Sinclair) who says: I have

a number of friends who are going to get this extension, but, on their behalf, I do not want it and I ask you to strike out the item. The hon. member -for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) -wants to strike out everything. The hon. member for North Cape Breton*(Mr. McKenzie) would also become very economical and not let anything further get to his friends. The hon. -member for Inverness (Mr. Chisholm) is split in two; he is divided in the middle; he wants it and he do-es net want it; he says: If -a real Liberal can get on to the extension, so that he will not be overheard, I want it; if that cannot be done, I do not want it. It is all a question cf politics with hon. gentlemen opposite. I am sorry the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. Hugh Clark) is not in the House. We have in old Ontario, to say nothing of the new, a large territory in which a system of this kind would be of great advantage. Take the Bruce peninsula, the land contiguous to Georgian bay and lake Huron, the territory running up to lake Nipissing and the north country; we can take thousands of miles of telegraph or telephone lines if the Government will only

give them to us. They would be of great benefit for life-saving purposes when storms occur on the lakes, and for warning against forest fires. These wants are apparently all- satisfied in Nova Scotia.

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CON

September 5, 1917