April 11, 1930

LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

The total cost of the building will be $21,500; fittings and furniture, $3,000; grading and sidewalks, $1,000; contingencies and superintendence, $1,500.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

There is a revote to the extent of $13,000.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

We have had this subject before us on many occasions. I must say that the present minister does not seem to pay much attention to the revenue or population of places where public buildings are constructed. A village of 700 people is to have an expenditure so great that the postal revenue of the place would barely pay the interest on the initial cost. So many places in this country are much larger, of greater importance and producing a greater revenue; yet they cannot get funds from this government for a public building. It seems to be an extraordinary situation in view of the fact that this is in a constituency which I am told the Liberals think that no candidate holding the political views of this side of the house can ever expect to be victorious there.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

That applies to a great many constituencies these days.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON
CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

To my mind there is no constituency like that in the Dominion. The minister evidently feels that way or he

1494 COMMONS

Supply-Public Works-Buildings

would not suggest spending $25,000 or $30,000 in a town which can boast of a population only of 700. He would not urge this expenditure if he did not think there was a chance of the Liberal candidate being beaten.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

He was beaten in the last Dominion election.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. QIJINN:

I must correct the hon. member for Argenteuil (Sir George Perley); we do not regard Guysborough as hopeless.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

The minister evidently thinks that we have a first class chance or he would not put such a large building in such a small place.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

There seems to be great disagreement between my hon. friends as to the possibility in this riding, but there is absolute unanimity on this side of the house.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink

Item agreed to. Windsor public building-improvements and repairs, $2,000.


CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

I do not rise to make an

objection, but I was going to ask the minister to allow an item to standi so that hon. members who are not present could have an opportunity for discussion when they return. I do not think this matter is contentious, but I would aak that it be allowed to stand so that there may be opportunity for discussion. Vote No. 120 would be satisfactory for that purpose.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB
CON

Robert Knowlton Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMITH (Cumberland):

For the fifth

consecutive year I wish to bring to the attention of the minister the horribly inadequate postal facilities in the town of Oxford, Nova Scotia. I am sure when I mention the facts I have before me the minister will recall that I have on many other occasions vigorously pleaded for some consideration for improved postal facilities for this town. The town of Oxford1 has a population of about 1,500 people. They conduct the postal service in a shack 24 feet by 16 feet, and I would like to read a description which points out the disgraceful conditions of the post office in this town.

The post office itself was made out of some private rooms and forms part of an old dwelling house. The remaining portion of the building is a private dwelling. The outside measurement of the post office is 24 feet by 16 feet. Part of this is taken up by what passes for a waiting room averaging 6 feet in width.

I may say that a plan was sent by me in the year 1926, to the predecessor of the present minister.

You will note by the plan that the working space is less than 150 square feet. Part of this

is taken up by desks, stove, safe, stamp tables and desk, boxes and wicket ledges. With a large number of mail bags piled in this small space, you can imagine how everything is cluttered up and the handicap under which the clerks (three in number) have to work. The office is very poorly lighted. You will note that there is only one window in the office proper, with four lights of glass measuring 14 inches by 28 inches each. The only other window as shown on the plan is in the waiting room and is of the same size. The office itself is heated by a small stove. The register shown in the sketch is not in use. There is no water, toilet or other conveniences. There is no heat whatever in the waiting room. The waiting room is nothing but a narrow corridor, which can only accommodate a few people at a time. Most of the people have to wait outside the building during the sorting of the mails, which is a particular hardship in cold and stormy weather.

This town is of considerable importance. I have mentioned on previous occasions that three rural routes emanate from this particular point. It is the hub of the county, of Cumberland, it is of manufacturing as well as agricultural importance, and situated in the centre of a very rich agricultural district. Last year the total revenue in stamps from this office was $5,018.42; the revenue from money ordters issued was $88,480.99; money orders paid, $29,958.77; postal notes issued, $4,108.92; postal notes paid, $3,069.17. The post office service states that the number of registered letters handled and the number of outgoing insured parcels cannot be given. I wish to point out to the minister that some years ago there was an estimate made by the departmental engineers as to the cost of a new build1-ing to supplement the present one. The sum mentioned was $35,000. This was done several years ago, and no effort has been made on the part of the department to arrange for a new building or better postal facilities in this town. May I again urge the minister to give this matter some serious consideration? I had some promises from him a few years ago as to improved postal facilties, but they are far from satisfactory to the people of this town. Petitions complaining about the inadequate facilities have been sent to the department by the town council, and the board of trade; also a number of influential citizens have protested. I think such an expenditure would be as fair as some of those that we have provided for this afternoon for post office buildings. It would at least be as just as the expenditure which was voted this afternoon for a post office building in a town less than half the size and importance of this one. In my opinion the minister should give serious consideration to the representations that have been frequently made not only by myself but by the people of the town in regard to the

Privilege-Mr. Manion

granting of decent and respectable post office facilities in Oxford. I suggest to the minister that it is not too late to include an item in the supplementary estimates to provide for this building.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

The matter to which my hon. friend refers has been brought up before, and is worthy of consideration. With regard to the other building,' I did not interrupt my hon. friend to say that it had become practically impossible to carry on in the old building, according to the Post Office Department. The office was contained in a private house, and it had become impossible to carry on. I will give the question very serious consideration.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

It is not my intention to intervene on behalf of the hon. member for Cumberland, although his plea seems to be reasonable and worth while, but in considering what he has said in regard to the situation in his own town, and in considering the vote to which he referred, it does seem to me that there should be some ratio established as between the population and revenue of a point on the one hand and the amount expended for public buildings on the other. I think there should be some definite and understandable ratio.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink

Item agreed to. New Brunswick Atholville-public building, $14,000. Forest City-building for immigration and customs excise purposes, $4,000. St. John quarantine station - Partridge island-improvements, alterations, repairs, etc., $9,500. St. John-tractor for postal purposes. $1,300. St. John quarantine station - Partridge island-new pipe line and repairs to existing line. $35,000. West St. John-purchase of property for Lancaster hospital, $5,000.


CON

Murray MacLaren

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacLAREN:

The total amount for New Brunswick is so small that I cannot offer any objection to any of the items contained in the list, but I would say that the total of $68,800 is extraordinarily small as compared with the other provinces.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I do not want to rush through these items, but as we are approaching the vacation we may not be able to reach them again. Under the next item my hon. friend will have an opportunity to make any remarks he may desire, and perhaps we might carry this small total of $68,800.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink

April 11, 1930