August 12, 1944

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

That is correct.

Topic:   LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZED INVESTMENTS IN UNITED STATES SECURITIES
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Mr. COLD WELL@

Is there any limitation as to the funds which may be used? Are they only funds taken in the United States?

Topic:   LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZED INVESTMENTS IN UNITED STATES SECURITIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I believe that answer has already been given, and will appear in Hansard.

Topic:   LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZED INVESTMENTS IN UNITED STATES SECURITIES
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Mr. CQLDWELL@

That is satisfactory.

Topic:   LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZED INVESTMENTS IN UNITED STATES SECURITIES
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Section agreed to. Bill reported. Mr. ILSLEY moved the third reading of the bill. He said: Mr. Speaker, I wish to express appreciation of the attitude of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) and the leader of the C.C.F. (Mr. Coldwell). Motion agreed' to and bill read the third time and passed.



The house in committee of supply, Mr. Bradette in the chair.


POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT


2JiZ. Departmental administration, $699,070.


IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask the Postmaster General two questions. I hold in my hand the report of the Postmaster General for the year ending March 1943, which is the last report issued, and also the report for the year 1942. We might think that the one ending March, 1944 would now be available, but apparently it is not. I should like to draw the attention of the Postmaster General to a change that has occurred in the preparation of this report. I suppose there are some six or seven thousand post offices in Canada and the procedure for

many years past has been to divide the list of post offices into accounting offices and non-accounting offices, these, in turn being divided according to provinces.

I have some 100 post offices in my riding and when I wanted to look up a particular post office in the past all I had to do was to turn to the accounting or non-accounting section, and then look up the province in which I was interested. In the case of nonaccounting offices for British Columbia these occupied only three pages, and I could speedily find the post office I was interested in. I think the same thing must apply to every other hon. member. But the system has now been changed and if I desire to look up a particular post office I must go through about 100 pages. If this meant some saving of time or paper the change would be understandable, but it means neither. It may be dumbness on my part, but I cannot understand the reason for this change. I have spoken to other hon. members and I find they have the same obj ection to this new system. It is very troublesome and inconvenient and I cannot see where there is any economy of time or paper or anything like that.

While I am on my feet I will take the opportunity of dealing with another matter I have in mind and then the minister can answer them both at once. I hold in my hand a letter which is marked "copy" and which was sent to a country postmaster in my district. It is from the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, 422 Metropolitan Building, 837 West Hastings street, Vancouver, British Columbia, and is dated January 14, 1944. Then comes the name of the rural postmaster who was to be the victim of this scheme. I shall not give his name for fear there might be repercussions, but the minister has seen the letter. It reads:

Dear Sir: I am circularizing all householders-

"All." Note what that would involve in work and expense.

-through post offices and rural routes soliciting support for our budget fund.

I am aware that postmasters and postmistresses take no active part in political movements, but you will no doubt be aware of some individual in your locality who would possibly be favourably inclined toward our movement, and perhaps you will be good enough to pass this letter along to him or her.

We require an individual in each district to assist us, and if they will communicate with this office I will see that they get supplies and any information they may require.

Yours very truly,

W. W. Lefeaux, Chairman, Finance Committee.

As they say, they are circularizing all householders and they address themselves to the

Supply-Post Office

country postmasters. This man is asked to break the law and imperil his job in order to advance the political and financial future of a political party. Hundreds of postmasters are fired after every election for taking part in politics during the election, but in twenty-three years I have only had two fired because of grave charges. One was suppressing my mail and he was also short in his. funds. This is from a party which sets itself up on a pedestal, both in the past and as to the future, a party which devotes a large portion of its time lecturing and damning the two old political parties. It is true that they have never had the opportunity to do the things which they accuse the old parties of doing because they have never been in power, and God willing I hope they never will be. Scripture says: "If these things be done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" I think that quotation can be applied most effectively to what these people are doing.

I hate to think what these people will do if they get a little more power. If some postmaster or postmistress should take a chance and do these things and they once got a hold over them it is only a step farther for them to come along and say, "How much mail is Tom Jones getting, and from whom?" There might be no limit to what they might do once they got in power. It will be noted that they say they are circularizing all householders through post offices and rural routes. Is it not most important for the purity of our elections that our post office officials shall be trustworthy?

I remember one occasion w'hen a postmaster was made a returning officer. I de>-manded an investigation after the election and it was found, first, that he had been drunk on election day; second, that he was short some considerable sum in his post office funds, and, third, that he.had not distributed political mail of mine which had been properly prepaid and addressed to people. He assumed that it was not wise for them to get it until after the election was over. The investigation was held unfortunately by political associates of this gentleman and he was not fired; he was allowed to resign. I was simple enough to let it go at that. A couple of years later he bobbed up again in another part of the riding and was recommended as a postmaster. I put it up to the officials here and said that I did not think a man with that pedigree was suitable for the position, but the reply I got back stated that the gentleman who had recommended him as postmaster was the very same inspector who had conducted the previous investigation and that as he had not been fired, there was really no black mark against him. I sent the letter I have read to the Postmaster General and I received an unsigned reply from

him stating that he did not approve of such proceedings. I should like to ask him what action was taken to prevent a recurrence of such a rapscallion piece of business.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. W. P. MULOCK (Postmaster General):

With regard to the first question asked by the hon. member, I would say that some years ago the economy committee recommended that a change should be made in the method of setting out the post offices in the report. From a departmental point, of view it was found to be more convenient to list the post offices in alphabetical order rather than to follow the old system. However, in view of what the hon. member has said I shall be glad to reconsider the matter and discuss it with him.

In regard to the second matter, as soon as it was brought to my attention the district directors in all postal districts were advised that such action was incorrect, and it would be considered that if postmasters or postmistresses took such a course of action, they would be guilty of political interference if they did it for any party and would be liable to be dismissed for that reason. I think it has been made quite clear to them that that suggestion should not be followed by them unless they wish to place their positions in jeopardy.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Would the minister give the committee the new rates for the postmen and other services in the post offices of Toronto? There was something in the paper about it a few days ago. I should like the present rates and the new rates.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

The hon. member means the increases in salaries?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Yes. The minister might give the former rate first. He could give the minimum and maximum of the salary range, and the change.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

The Changes are as follows:

Letter carrier. The compensation for this class, which is at present in the range $1,020 to $1,500, with allowance for uniform and boots, is revised to read as follows: range, $1,200 to $1,620, allowance: uniform and boots.

Senior letter carrier. The compensation for this class, which is at present in the range $1,560 to $1,680, with uniform and boots, is revised to the range $1,620 to $1,800, also with uniform and boots. These are in the larger post offices. I can give details about the smaller offices.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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NAT
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

They are now $1,200 to $1,860, provided that in post offices of grade 6 and up no post clerk shall proceed beyond

Supply-Post Office

the salary of $1,680 per annum until he has passed the major examination. As a matter of fact they take examinations at the present time.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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NAT
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

I might mention now, to keep the record clear, that in the post offices of grades 3, 4 and 5 the clerk shall not proceed beyond a salary range of $1,680.

Then, mail porters: t'heir range was from $1,020 to $1,500, plus an allowance in the discretion of the department for uniform and boots, and that has now been raised from $1,200 to $1,620, with the same allowance.

Senior mail porters: their salary was $1,500 to $1,680; it has now been increased to a minimum of $1,620 with a maximum of $1,800, plus the same annual allowance as mentioned before.

Postal chauffeurs, now $1,140 to $1,500; new range, $1,200 to $1,620, with uniform and boots.

Postal garage repairman, range $1,440 to $1,620, now $1,500 to $1,740, with uniform.

Postal garage foreman, $1,620 to $1,800, changed to $1,620 to $1,860.

Railway mail clerk, grade 1, $1,080 to $1,800, plus allowance of one cent a mile for the distance actually travelled while on duty. The range is now $1,200 to $1,860, with the same mileage allowance.

There has been an increase of $60 per annum to each of the grades of railway mail clerk, namely grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. McILRAITH:

I want to say a word of appreciation to the minister of this order in council P.C. 1/6268 of August 8 from which he has just quoted, changing the various rates of compensation as he has just set them out. It is the result of a long and sometimes involved agitation. My only regret is that it did not come a few months earlier, but now it has come I for one feel very grateful to the ministry. I should like to express that appreciation and have it placed on record.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I rise to a question of privilege. Yesterday, when the Prime Minister was anxious to facilitate the business of the house by increasing the hours during which we would sit, he made this statement, reported in Hansard, page 6264:

At the same time I do not despair of the house being able to conclude its business by to-morrow night, if lion, members will indicate immediately what particular matters they wish to have brought forward.

And again, at page 6264:

There may be a few items , which hon. members would wash to single out and have brought

forward for purposes of discussion. If so the government would seek to arrange matters accordingly.

That is an invitation to hon. members. In answer to that invitation I requested the Prime Minister this morning to bring forward a certain department, namely that of pensions and health; and the Prime Minister showed a certain amount of irritation

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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August 12, 1944