While we are on this item, I would like to say a word or two on the general question of the service at the post offices in the country, and particularly at the post office of the incorporated village of Grimsby in the county of Lincoln. The Postmaster General may remember that complaints were made to him early in the year, and that these complaints are of considerable standing, and last session I spoke in regard to the scant accommodation for the public at that post office. The village of Grimsby is a centre where an efficient mail service is required more, perhaps, than in most parts of the country. It is most important that the residents should be given facilities to get their mail delivered and sent out promptly. Especially during the fruit season, they must get many reports and other matters by mail that especially affect the business they are carrying on of shipping perishable fruits. Complaints were made to the Postmaster General which, I am advised by my constituents, have not resulted in any improvement.
I am not suggesting at present that the Postmaster General has not done all he can to get the postmaster at Grimsby to effect an improvement. I would draw the attention of the Postmaster General to a letter written to him by Mr. James Doran. Mr. Doran is a man of great prominence in the locality, and one very highly respected by everybody. And, if it is a testimonial of character in the eyes of the Postmaster General, I may say that Mr. Doran is a very prominent Liberal. He contested the countv of Lincoln for the local legislature in 1898. He is one of a family that have been very staunch supporters of the Liberal party in the Dominion and provincial elections. His brother was an unsuccessful candidate in the city of Hamilton for this parliament a few years ago. Mr. Doran would not make these complaints to the Postmaster General, unless he felt that the interest of the village of which he is a prominent citizen required it :
Grimsby, Out., January 14th, 1904.
Hon. Sir William Mulock,
Sir,-You are probably aware that when Mr. Wm. Forbes, the present postmaster here, was appointed it was urged as a reason for moving the post office from where It then was to Mr. Forbes' own premises that there would be much more accommodation for the public. We, residents of the village and locality, have waited patiently now more than four years for the accommodation and improvement, hut instead of it coming we have no such accommodation as we had before, or are entitled to, or as any other place of the same importance enjoys. Over 2,000 people use this office for their mail, and the fruit growing and other business of the locality is of a kind that suffers very much by want of proper post office arrangements.
What we all complain of is as follows :
1. The whole space for the public in the office is a passage, with the street door at the end, about four and a half feet wide running past the letter boxes and ending at the postmaster's private quarters, and is utterly inadequate for the needs of the people, numbers of whom can be seen every day standing on the street because there is no room Inside.
2. We cannot buy postage stamps or post cards, or get any mail handed out, until after
eight in the morning, although a mail goes to *the west at half past jeven a.m., and in the evening although the mail from the east gets in at six o'clock it is not distributed until after the mail from the west, which is due one-half an hour later, but is generally an hour or more late, and although such lateness is at the time known to the postmaster, and people have to wait notwithstanding the want of accommodation because no matter at what hour the mail is distributed the wicket is finally closed for the night at 7.30 in any event, and only those having lock boxes can get mail until 8 p.m.
There are other complaints, but these are the principal ones.
I think your inspector ought to make a visit here on some Saturday evening about six o'clock and wait for an hour or two, and he would see how'' things are for himself, unless the postmaster, knowing he was expected made some special arrangements for the occasion.
There is so much complaining about these matters, and has been now for a long time, by the people that I have now been asked to write you about it, and have thought best to do so.
Hoping that a substantial improvement for the people will be brought about without much delay, and thus prevent any other action being necessary, I am.