January 31, 1911

POST OFFICE ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. LEMIEUX moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 104) to amend paragraph (1) of section 2 and paragraphs (n) and (o) of section 9 of the Post Office Act. He said: The object of this Bill is to introduce in the larger post offices of the country a new device called the self stamp selling box. It is a box by which any man, by putting in it a cent or a penny, can get his stamp of that denomination. At the same time, the use of this box saves to the department a large amount of money, as no commission has to be paid to any vendor of stamps. The box has been tried in two or three large post offices in Canada, and is found to be a great advantage to the public, especially in the rush season at Christmas time. It is used in Australia, where the invention was first taken out, and is also largely used in Europe. On the second reading of the Bill I will give fuller explanation.


CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Is it the same kind of box that has been used in the Ottawa post office for some time ?

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I think there is one in the Ottawa post office.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The minister, in his peregrinations, may not have heard of the incident that took place down at the Ottawa

post office. A young lady wanted a cent stamp, she put in her cent and the one cent stamp came out. But the blamed thing kept on turning out stamps one after the other, without additional money. It frightened the young lady, and she took to her heels and ran away. She made complaint, and I believe either the police or the engineering department was called in, and in due time they stopped the thing.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

The use of the box at first was an experiment, and there may have been something wrong with it. The hon. gentleman, I know, will be pleased to learn that one great advantage of this box is that it rejects all kinds of false coins.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


RECIPROCITY-TRADE STATISTICS.

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I would like to call -the attention of the Minister of Finance to a document which has been received from the United States by various members of parliament, a document issued, I suppose, by one of the departments of the administration at Washington. It is a most complete document; all the proceedings, all the data and a complete set of statistical tables are appended under one cover. It is a most important thing that full statistics should be in the hands of the members of parliament and available at as early a period as possible. I cannot think that the Minister of Finance has been a fortnight at these negotiations with efficient help with him, and that he has not had that basis or data for his negotiations that evidently, the United States Commissioners had very skillfully prepared and very full and comprehensive in all its parts. If the Minister of Finance had that, what reason in the world is there that the House has not been put in possession long before this of an equally comprehensive statement, The Minister of Finance seemed yesterday very unwilling to adopt a practice of the United States for fear that it might be unconstitutional here. I think the House would forgive him in that respect if he would give us something on a par or an equality with what the United States administration have given to their people.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Air. FIELDING.

My hon. friend has overlooked the fact that at the moment of presenting the matter to this House I laid on the table or made accessible to ' Hansard ' a somewhat elaborate statement containing comparisons which at the moment I thought probably covered all that any hon. member might desire. We had two most capable officials with us in Washington, .a most efficient staff, tout high as is my regard and esteem for these gentlemen, 87

I would not say they were equal to tlhe large army of officials which was available to our friends of the United States government, Day after day as incidents occurred in the negotiations they were able to turn the matter over to their army of officials, and they could have statistics prepared very much more elaborately 'than we could possibly expect to have within the same time. I quite agree, however, that it is desirable that the fullest possible information, and practically along the same lines should he given to this House ; our officers are now engaged in preparing it, and I will promise to expedite the return and see that it is laid before the House within a reasonable time before the discussion is resumed.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Meanwhile, as it seems to be so difficult to have that done here, perhaps, through the kindly offices of the administration, we might toe aible to get a supply from Washington.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If my hon. friend thinks it desirable to have some extra copies of the statement prepared at Washington I would be happy to ask them to favour us in that respect, but I would thifik that the House would prefer to' have the information prepared by our own people. I think the House will agree that we are not to be blamed if we were not able to have more statistical information when we were so far away from home. We did have all the information which we thought necessary for an intelligent study of the subject but it could scarcely toe expected that after the negotiations were completed we could go to work and prepare the statistics while we were on our way back to Ottawa. There is no comparison between the two conditions. I will adopt my non. friend's suggestion, and ask our friends in Washington to give us some extra copies containing this information, tout I think the House would like also the information prepared by our own officials.

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CHINESE IMMIGRATION.

LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. SMITH (Nanaimo).

I wmuld like to ask the right hon. the Prime Minister if his attention has been directed to a statement made by Mr. Mclnnes before a commission at Vancouver to the effect that he discussed with the Prime Minister the desirability of taking the head tax off Chinese immigrants, and I would also like to ask the Prime Minister if there is any truth in the evidence of Mr. Mclnnes?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

My attention was called to an article in the Victoria ' Colonist ' from which I read this paragraph :

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?

Mr. T. R. E.@

Mclnnes says that Sir Wilfrid Laurier told him that he contemplated the

possibility of doing away with the present restrictions on Chinese immigration.

I have no recollection at this moment of having discussed the matter with Mr. Mclnnes, tout I have no doubt that if he says so it is true because I discussed this matter not only with Mr. Mclnnes, if I did so, but with several parties when I was in British Columbia last summer, and since I came home also with different friends who take an interest in this question, not with the view, however, as stated toy Mr. Mclnnes of withdrawing the present restriction on Chinese immigration so as to make immigration from China absolutely free as it is from Europe, but I probably discussed with Mr. Mclnnes. and certainly with numerous parties, the advisability of abolishing our present legislation with regard to Chinese immigration, and if possible obtaining from the Chinese government such an arrangement as we have at the present time with the Japanese government which has wrorked admirably. The House is aware that we have at the present time an arrangement with the Japanese government whereby they undertook, some three or four years ago, themselves to restrict their own immigration to Canada to a certain figure. This arrangement has been faithfully carried out by the Japanese government and Japanese immigration has been kept, under the arrangement, constantly in check. At the present time, we have, and we have had for some twenty years on our statute-toook, a law which imposes a capitation tax upon every Chinaman coming into Canada. Last year the immigration suddenly went up to a pretty high figure, to something like 1,400 or 1,500. It is said that this 'was the result of frauds which had been committed, and the capitation tax is now the subject of an investigation in Vancouver. Whether there has been fraud or not I am still of the opinion that if it were possible to Obtain from the Chinese government such an arrangement as we have had with the Japanese government it would be far preferable. But, at the present moment, I have no recollection of discussing the matter with Mr. Mclnnes although it is quite possible I did so. I certainly discussed it with many other persons.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

As I see the hon. Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Templeman) in his place I would like to ask if his attention was drawn to an intimation which appeared in the press of this morning regarding a mill which is said to have taken place under the Marquis of Queensberry rules between one Jardine and the Minister of Inland Revenue, and to inquire how the encounter ended, whether the account of it which we have received is absolutely correct or not.

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LIB
LIB

William Templeman (Minister of Mines; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. TEMPLEMAN.

Mr. Speaker, as so many hon. members in the House seem to be interested in the subject, I may say that the account, as it appears in the Morning ' Citizen ', is very highly coloured.

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CON

January 31, 1911