Now, Mr. Chairman, I think It is pretty plain why, this letter has not been brought down. Mr. Thomas Prest is one of the most active Liberals in the township of Earnest-town in the riding of Lennox and Addington. He was it appears, a great friend of Mr. Gallagher, and a good politician. Mr. Gallagher being a popular postmaster, he knew that any interference with him as postmaster would injure very materially the chances of Mr. Keach, my opponent in Lennox and Addington. Therefore, he knew that it was a very foolish thing for them to interfere in this matter. But last year, during the session, I think early in June, the Postmaster General was good enough to let me see the papers ; I took only a very cursory look at them, but I came to the conclusion that there was not very much in them and I did not think that the P'ostmast-er General would find enough in them to dismiss the postmaster at Wilton. I find in the correspondence that is brought down a letter from Mr. Herrington. Those who were here the other night will remember that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries said that this was the gentleman that tried to hold him up on a small job of 14 buoys. I would not accuse him of anything of that kind. The letter is signed by the firm of Herrington, Warner & Graham. Mr. Herrington is the head of the firm, a very active politician. Mr. Warner has been away from the country a good many years, and Mr. Graham is a Conservative, so I take it that although this letter is signed with the name of the firm, it is really a letter from the head of the firm only. It is as follows :
Napanee, May 7, 1903.
Hon. Postmaster General,
Re Wilton post office.
Hon. Sir,-We have been requested by a large number of the parties of Wilton post office to forward you the inclosed declarations containing grave complaints in respect to the neglect of duty and disrespectful qonduct of the postmaster, Mr. Gallagher. We further understand that this is not the first time that complaints have been lodged against him. We are credibly informed that it is the popular belief that it is in the interest of the public that he should be dismissed and a more suit-Mr. WILSON.
able and acceptable postmaster appointed in his stead.
This is a letter from Messrs. Herrington, Warner and Grange. The trouble is that they do not specify what charges against Mr. Gallagher have been in the past. The question as to what a man's politics were has never cut any ice in my riding heretofore. This post office was established seventy-four or seventy-five years ago. The first postmaster was Sidney 'Warner who held the office for over fifty years. He had been reeve of the municipality, warden of the united counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, he had been spoken of as the probable Reform candidate and I have no doubt he could have had the nomination had he been willing to take it. Nobody thought that because he was a Liberal, or because he was in municipal politics, or because he was sufficiently prominent to be talked of as a member of parliament he should be dismissed from his office. I think you will find that the particular crime that Mr. Gallagher has been guilty of is that he opposed Mr. Clyde for the reeveship of his own township. He did not succeed although he beat Mi1. Clyde in the part of the township in which they both resided. I think any hon. gentleman who has had experience in municipal politics will agree that party politics do not entirely govern in a case of this kind.
I have had a good deal of experi-. ence in municipal politics and I have had the support of strong Liberals, but at the same time I have not always had the support of some strong Conservatives. Mr. Gallagher's answer is this :
One of the Reform workers told me he read one of Herrington's letters and he said he had told fifty lies to get rid of the gang and he would not do any more for them unless he was paid $50, and afterwards the fellow said Herrington got him $50 for doing the deed.
I may say that when these papers came down and when these affidavits were presented I sent them up to Mr. Gallagher saying that I wanted him to answer the charges made against him. I did not believe they were true then and I do not now. I will now give you a specimen of the kind of affidavits presented. The first one which I will read is from Isaac McEwen :
Dominion of Canada.
County of Lennox and Addington.
In the matter of Wilton post office.
I, Isaac McEwen, of the township of Ernest-town, in the county of Lennox and Addington, farmer, do solemnly declare : That
1. I know Levi L. Gallagher, postmaster at Wilton.
2. That during the last Dominion election in the county of Lennox the said Levi L. Gallagher took an active part on behalf of the Conservative candidate, Uriah Wilson, and held committee meetings in his house to advance the interests of the Conservative candidate.
And X make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing It to be true.
Gallagher informs me that McEwen has told him that he never made that declaration, that if he did make it he must have been drunk at the time because he had no recollection of ever having signed any such document as the one I have just read. I may say to the committee that I was in Napa nee on the 10th June. When I was talking with Mr. Henry Allen Baker, exwarden of the county, McEwen came up and said : Mr. Wilson, I understand it has been reported in Ottawa that I have signed a declaration asking for the dismissal of Mr. Gallagher and that I made a statement that he had held committee mettings in the interest of the Conservative party in his house. I know nothing about his having held committee meetings, I never made that declaration and I have nothing to say against Mr. Gallagher. I believe he has made a good postmaster. He also said that Mr. Timmerman had said the same thing. I wrote to the hon. Postmaster General on June 22, 1903, a letter in which I pointed out to him that several of the parties who made the complaints had no dealings with the post office at Wilton, that they got their letters elsewhere. I also pointed out to him that if a charge was made against Mr. Gallagher it was only fair that a copy of the charges should be sent to him and that he should have an opportunity of having an investigation. The answer I got from the Postmaster General was that he had received the letter and would give it fair consideration. I think that had the Postmaster general taken the proper course he would have seen that Mr. Gallagher was given an opportunity of answering the charges made against him, because it is a principle of justice in every British country that a man charged with a crime should not be condemned without a hearing. There were only two charges that in my judgment amounted to anything and when you come to sift them down I do not think they amount to very much. One was that a letter which had been sent on Saturday from Wilton in time to catch the mall for Camden East to Mr. Timmerman asking him to be on hand on Monday to vote for Mr. Clyde for reeve of the township was delayed with the result that it did not reach Timmerman in time. Gallagher said that he did not know whether he made out the bill or not. In any event one of the gentlemen who wanted Mr. Timmerman to come and vote went over and met him on Sunday with the result that he was on hand Monday morning and polled his vote for the candidate of his choice. Here is what Mr. Clyde says about the registered letter : I shall not bother reading his affidavit because what he says in his letter and what he says in his affidavit amount to about the same" thing. Then I shall read Mr. Gallagher's explanation. The hon. Postmaster General ought to deal fairly with Mr. Gallagher because he is a good business man, a popular man in his own section, and an active man. He certainly ought to think twice before dismissing him without a trial. Mr. Clyde says :
April 3rd, 1903.
This is to certify that a registered letter bearing the stamp of the Kingston post office, dated March 18th, was detained at Wilton or elsewhere from that date until the evening of the 27th March. My son asked for my mail five or six times between the dates mentioned and this letter was withheld.
This is not the only time that registered mail has been delayed which was addressed to me. I have already reported the above to post office inspector to be investigated.
(Sgd.) THOS. CLYDE.
Now, Mr. Gallagher's answer to that is this :
I may say that Mr. Clyde is .mistaken. His son was here the night the letter came and went away before it was registered on book or that we knew that it was for Clyde. It came in a sealed wrapper and there was one for me same night. I can prove positively that his son did not call for letter and that Bush was the first man to call for his mail. We keep the registered matter in a desk and the common mail we put in his box. When I sent the registered letter up it was to oblige him. He told the inspector I was a very obliging postmaster and probably they never would get as good, but he was urged to use his influence against me by his party.
I thiuk the toon. Postmaster General himself will see the reasonableness of Mr. Gallagher's explanation. He knows very well that when the mail comes into the office, the mail matter is first distributed around in the boxes, and, afterwards the registered letters, which they have to be so careful about are entered in their books. He further says :
The only thing Clyde has against me was that I opposed him for reeve and cost him about $75 to $100 to beat me thirty-two votes. My own ward that generally goes Reform, gave me nineteen majority and we are both in same ward. In short he has simply made himself a tool to accommodate about seven families and they nearly all related to each other. There was no object in me holding the letter. Tom Clyde told Miller it was a mistake to change the postmaster, but the party was bound to do it, and he had to act to please them for he wanted their votes next time.
I am sorry to say that this is not the only instance in which political pressure has been brought to bear in my riding. A few years ago a certain number of Liberals put their heads together and stated that if the caretaker of a public building were not removed before a general election took place they would not vote for the Liberal candidate. I fancy that if the Postmaster General had been quite sure that we would not have had a general election last winter, Mr. COMMONS
Gallagher would-not have been removed, because X am told that Mr. Gallagher was Informed he would have to give up the office at a certain time, but afterwards the Postmaster General sent a telegram to the inspector in Kingston who wired to Mr. Gallagher to hold the office for a certain time longer. I think the Postmaster General will not deny that. With reference to Mr. Toomey another gentleman who made an affidavit; I know Mr. Toomey very well, and once when I met him I said to him : Why did you interfere in the matter, and he said : I never did ; I didn't sign anything against Gallagher. These' are the kind of affidavits this gentleman has been dismissed on. If he had an opportunity to defend himself, as he should have had, I do not think they could establish anything against him. For eighteen years he was postmaster of Wilton, and there was never a complaint against him except one made by a school teacher who wanted his salary raised, and Mr. Gallagher being a member of the school board refused to do so. So far as I know this is the only complaint that has ever been made against Mr. Gallagher. If it were left in the hands of the people to-day I believe they would restore Mr. Gallagher to the postmastership. I would like to ask the Postmaster General about these private letters. I am informed that a copy of one of these letters was sent to a Liberal committee in the riding of Lennox and they investigated, and they had the gentleman before them who wrote the letter, and they had a row amongst themselves. If these letters are not too private to be given to party friends, I think they might be laid before this House. I recollect that the Postmaster General once published a lot of private correspondence in a blue-book, and I had the good fortune to have a letter amongst them, but when I write letters I do not care who sees them.
I wish to ask the Postmaster General, if he knows anything about the letter, reference to this matter having been sent to the friends-of the Liberal party in Lennox.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCIv. Do I know of a private letter of the department having been sent to any one ?