February 26, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)


Do they, or what do they mean ? Do they mean to cast ridicule upon the words of the friend who stated it ? Do they mean to say that the hon. Postmaster General was worthy of respect when he misled the people by such a statement ? Is that why they cheer ? If it is, then I can only say they cheer to their own shame.
And it would soon be self-sustaining. All this had been accomplished with the present reduction in the postal rates from 3 to 2 cents.
I do not wish to detract one iota from the credit due to the hon. Postmaster General for anything that he has accomplished. I say that he is entitled to credit for reducing the rate of postage, and for anything he has accomplished in the way of economy or 15}
good management I am willing to give him the utmost credit. But I am not willing to allow the Postmaster General to mislead the people of my constituency without trying to set them right. When he tells the House to-day that he will not be bound by that statement he then made, it will be interesting reading to the people of East Grey who listened to him in November last. One of his friends on the platform, speaking against me, said : ' This is only the statement of the member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) against the statement of the Postmaster General ; whose statement will you take ? ' He followed that up by saying that a minister of the Crown who would stand up on a platform and make that statement, if it was not correct, was unworthy of respect as a public man. But now the Postmaster General stands up here and tells us that in the month of July of that year the revenue was running behind, that it ran more behind in October and November, and yet it was in the month of November that he made this incorrect statement in East Grey. His friends then told us that if they had the report of the last financial year it would show that there was an increase in the revenue of the Post Office Department all the time, and a decrease in expenditure, and it would prove that the Post Office Department was self-sustaining. But now the Postmaster General tells the House that the revenue was decreasing at that very time. As a defence, he tells us that in the month of January of this present year, there is an increase in revenue, and that what he meant to convey to the people of Canada was that if lie took into account the present increase of revenue, he would be justified in asserting that the revenue and expenditure would balance in a short time. But does he not see that this increase in revenue took place two months after he made that misleading statement to the people of East Grey ? When he tells us to-day that he is not willing to stand by the statement he made solemnly on the platform, he makes an admission that I do not believe that any other member of his party would be guilty of. I am glad to know that the people of the country have been set right in this matter, because in future they will know just how much weight to attach to any statement made by the Postmaster General (Hon. Mr. Mulock.)

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