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



Yes, but it was a private conversation with a leading gentleman on the other side, and the matter then absolutely escaped my attention until I received the communication to which I have alluded. In desirinig that this work should proceed rapidly, and that no ground for complaint should exist, either here or at Montreal, through the department failing to issue bags to the publishers in sufficient quantities, I at once inquired into the cause of the congestion. I learned that the Montreal ' Star ' had procured from the post office at Montreal an unusually large number of mail sacks, and had used them, not for the purpose for which they were issued, namely, the carryinig of the newspapers to the station, but to pack up this literature to be transmitted from the post office at Montreal to the Whip of the opposition at Ottawa, and we found bags full of mail matter accumulating at different places throughout the city. I at once caused an inquiry to be made at the post office in the House of Commons to ascertain why they had not been sending away this literature and getting these bags liberated. The answer I received was that the postmaster at Ottawa had refused to receive any more at the city post office. The course adopted for the transmission of the mails from the House is to send them to the city post office, where they are shipped by cars to the various stations and taken away for distribution throughout the country by the various postal cars that leave this ' city. When, therefore, I learnt that the city postmaster had refused to receive any more because he had no room, I deemed it my duty personally to inspect the post office,
and see what justification there was for that explanation. I there was given ocular proof of the correctness of the statement. I was pointed to masses of accumulated bags, which blocked up the inside space. And as a considerable amount of general mail matter passes through the post office in and out, and the postmaster deemed it his duty to see that the general mail service was1 not unduly interfered with, he refused to receive any more mail bags. The postmaster, or one of his officers took me to the basement, which covers all the ground floor, and he there showed me hundreds of bags full of campaign literature which had been dumped on them, and to remove which they had not sufficient postal cars.

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