April 22, 1910

SUPPLY-LETHBRIDGE POST OFFICE.


Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into Committee of Supply. .


CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. A. MAGRATH (Medicine Hat).

Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker,

1 have a matter to which I wish to draw the attention of the Postmaster General. I went to his office this morning and could not find him. It is connection with the Lethbridge post office situation. I am in receipt of a telegram to the following effect:

Lethbridge, Alta.,

21st April, 1910.

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?

To C. A.@

Magrath, M.P.,

Ottawa.

Material for street delivery been here for some time. No move to put it in operation. Post office more conjested than ever and citizens getting desperate over situation. Use every effort to have put in operation at once, as business is suffering every day. Am sending duplicate to DeVeber.

(Signed) The Lethbridge Board of Trade.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am only going to address the House for two or three moments m connection with this matter. For over one year I have been triyng to impress upon the Post Office Department of this country the necessity of attending to the requirements of the people of Lethbridge I have appealed to the Postmaster General's Department and to the Minister of Public Works I have put on record in this House the situation there. I have stated openly that I am not looking for a public building in order to get the taxes in that section of he country distributed. I do not endorse the log rolling system of getting rid of our taxes at all, but the people have certain requirements and certain rights in this country and I have laid before the Postmaster General a statement as to the situa-hon m Lethbridge. I repeat I do not ask for a public building in Lethbridge in order to have a share of the taxes distributed there. I have asked the Postmaster General for some returns that were ordered by this House, and I want to draw the attention of the right hon. gentleman to the tact that the House gave authority to bring down certain papers. The Postmaster General has practically refused to bring down the papers from his department. I have-had papers brought down from the Public Works Department, but there was absolutely nothing from the Post Office Department, and it is an astonishing state of affairs if the Postmaster General has to admit to this House that there is no correspondence m his department in connection with this matter. I know there has been correspondence and I have told him of it. I have-asked him to bring down these papers, and thev have not been brought down so tar as I am aware. If they have been brought down, then I am sorry for making this statement, I want to see what correspondence has been placed before the department- of Public Works by his department, I want to know what steps he *l?s , la5,en to lmPress upon the Public Works Department the necessity of providing proper facilities for the people of Lethbridge. If fie has not taken any steps then it will be a subject for discussion at a later date.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX (Postmaster General).

Mr. Speaker, I know that steDS have been taken to establish a tree letter carrier delivery at Lethbridge I know that the Post Ofiice'Department has done its utmost to impress unon the Public Works Department the necessity of providing a temporary office next to the post office, now established at Lethbridge. I know that Representations have been made verb-

778!

ally to me and to the officers of the department, both by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Ma-grath) and Senator DeVeber as to the necessity of having a building. The reason there is no public building yet at Lethbridge is that we do not know what population Lethbridge may have twelve months hence.

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAGRATH.

May I ask a question? Will the hon. gentleman tell me what the population of this country is going to be two years hence. Are our public buildings to be stopped on account of not knowing what our population is going to be.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

It is quite obvious there is a difference between the growth of a countrv and the growth of a city like Lethbridge. We all know that cities and towns are growing very fast in the west, and you may provide for a public building in a town which next year will have doubled its population. At all events, there is no ill will whatsoever towards Lethbridge or towards the establishing of postal facilities in the constituency of my hon. friend. On the contrary, I can show my hon. friend here three foolscap pages filled with the names of post offices opened in his own constituency between January 1, 1908, and March 1, 1910. Mv hon. friend, I am sorry to-day, seems to advertise for a grievance. But there is no room for a grievance. We have opened nearly sixty offices since he was elected representative of the constituency.

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAGEATH.

Wihat has that to do with Lethbridge ?

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

The hon. gentleman sems to think that there is some ill-will to Lethbridge or to the constituency.

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CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

He said that we refused to lay on the table certain correspondence which might have been exchanged between the post office authorities and some anonymous correspondent. The papers laid on the table contain all the correspondence in this matter. If there Is no correspondence on the file laid on the table dealing with the subject he refers to, it is because there is no such correspondence. There is nothing to conceal in this matter; it is a business proposition. And I do not know what my hon. friend can have in mind in thinking that we would not produce the papers. I simply gave the officers of the department the order of the House-to which order I had raised no objection-to bring down the correspondence. It happens every day, that correspondence on these matters is carried on with the Public Works Department, and, in that case, the Post Office Department would not have the correspondence on file. In the present Mr. LEMIEUX.

instance I can only take the word of the hon. member in the meantime that there must be some correspondence and I will see if I can discover anything to bring before the House. But let not my hon. friend be under any impression that there is any ill-will whatever concerning his constituency. The best proof of that is the list of new post offices to which I have referred.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

It did not seem to me that the hon. member (Mr. Magrath) was complaining so much of the absence of correspondence in the file brought down or of ill-will against Lethbridge, but rather of the indifference of the Postmaster General to the needs of the people in an urgent situation. Carelessness or indifference concerning the wants of the people is just as bad as though insufficient postal facilities were due to ill-feeling against the place or to an effort to punish it directed by whatever motive.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFEID LAUEIEE.

I am not sure that I understood the complaint of my hon. friend from Medicine Hat (Mr. Magrath). Did I understand him to say that the postal facilities at Lethbridge were insufficient and that he wanted a new building?

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAGEATH.

That is the beginning of the difficulty-they have no public building. And, apparently they have no building available in which they can render proper service to the people.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFEID LAUEIEE.

If my hon. friend (Mr. Magrath) will look at the supplementary estimates he will find that we knew all that and have provided for it. There is an appropriation for a public building at Lethbridge.

Mr. MA,GEATH. If the House will permit me: the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) does not know the situation. The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugs-ley) told me himself that it would take $25,000 to buy a site for a post office in Lethbridge. The appropriation is $20,000. What is the use of $20,000 ?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFEID LAUEIEE.

It is not enough ?

An hon. MEMBEE. No.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFEID LAUEIEE.

That is the usual complaint-we do not spend enough money. We shall provide for that.

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THE FEANKING PBIVILEGE.

CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOE (New Westminster).

Topic:   SUPPLY-LETHBRIDGE POST OFFICE.
Subtopic:   THE FEANKING PBIVILEGE.
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April 22, 1910