October 21, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


The POSTMASTER GENERAL (Hon. Sir William Mulock).

I regret not having been in the chamber at the commencement of this discussion, and perhaps owing to my absence I may not deal with some points, if any have been made, which I did not hear. However, I have had the honour of listening to the bon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell), who has in this instance departed from his usual course of addressing the House with a certain measure of moderation and dignity. I on this occasion regret to find that lie has departed from that role, and has, as all gentlemen do who are trying to uphold a bad case, indulged in rather violent and *abusive language. Without dwelling upon the personal attack which he makes upon me or discussing the question of whether or not the general administration of the Post Office Department is satisfactory to the public, leaving that question to be determined by the public itself, I will give to the House the bare facts of the case without endeavouring to evade or to cloud the issue. This is not a question of the franking privilege at all, although that subject may fairly come up for consideration in view of the events that have taken place. Let me tell you frankly and exactly how the matter came to my attention and how the situation has grown to what it is. On Saturday last I received a communication from a leading publisher of the city of Montreal-not the Montreal ' Star,' but another leading journal 'in that city-complaining that his house had not been furnished, according to the usual custom, with bags for carrying their papers to the post office. I might say that the department, in order to accommodate newspaper publishers, inaugurated the practice of allowing them to receive from the post office, from time to time, sufficient mail sacks in which to bag their papers for transmission to the post office.

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