The government telegraphs are all in outlying sections-on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in the Yukon and elsewhere. The government operates the unprofitable sections so far as telegraph messages are concerned; the profitable end of the business is operated by the companies. The telegraph companies carry a message from Quebec to Buffalo, about six hundred miles, for 35 cents, for which the Canadian Pacific Railway : or Great Northwestern get only 174 cents. Take a message from New York to Chicago by Canadian Pacific Railway. They send it to Montreal, and relay it there. That is, the Canadian Pacific Railway carries the message 2,000 miles with a relay and gets 374 cents. But if that message is to be delivered in Montreal, saving the relay and 550 miles to Chicago, the Canadian rate will be 75 cents. I feel confident, from the examination I have made with reference to the cost of telegraph lines, not only in the Dominion of Canada, but in other parts of the world, that a good round return could be made on rates such as 25 cents from Halifax to Winnipeg, and 50 cents from Halifax to Vancouver. Some western rates are the following:
Windsor to Sydney Cape Breton approximately 1,400 miles, 30c.
"Regina to Sudbury, 1,150 miles, $1.00.
"Moosejaw to Ottawa, 1,700 miles, $1.00.
Ottawa to Moose Man, 1,550 miles, $1.00
North Bay to Moose Man, 1,275 miles, $1.00.
Messages for similar distances in eastern Canada cost 30 cents.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.P.R. REVENUE OF TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.
Now, I think it worth while to call to the attention of the House to the position taken by the Postmaster General of the LTnited States within the last few days. The Postmaster General lias announced, so far as he is personally concerned, a policy of taking over the telegraph lines in the United States, stating at the same time that these lines would cost $250,000,000. Assuming that practically all the telegraph lines in Canada could be taken over at the price I named some time ago, this means that the Postmaster General of the United States is prepared to pay $12 per head more to acquire the lines in the United States than would be necessary for us to pay to acquire the lines in Canada. The Po(stmastefr 'General of th|e United States distinctly states that he will be able to cut one-third off the rates in that country, even though paying so large a sum for the lines. If he can do that with the tremendous amount of water in the investment how much better off we shall be in comparison. The United States rates are practically the same as those in Canada, the rates in their west and in our west being particularly much alike. The rate of 25 cents from Windsor to Quebec was established some years ago by statute. In the United States they have a law under which government messages are sent at 1 cent a word up to 1,000 miles with a minimum of 20 words. Canada has not any government rate arrangement with the large companies. At the rate I have just quoted, the government of the United States would be able to send a message from New York to California for 40 cents for 20 words, and from Washington to Florida at 40 cents for 20 words.
We are too apt to think that the companies interested in our telephones are Canadian companies. But you will find that the bulk of the stock of each of the principal companies is held in the United States and that the companies are operated from New York. There is not a British owned cable between the motherland and Canada, every one of the cables being owned and operated by men in New York. The Mackay company is not an operating company; it is only a holding company for the postal Telegraph and Commercial Cable and many others. In 1907, they had a controlling interest in the Bell Telephone Company of the United States, and over 38 per cent of the stock of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada is owned by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company of the United States. Heretofore, on complaint of a particular body, these monopolies, such as the telegraph, telephone and express companies, would sometimes make reductions gratuitously; but now that they are compelled to go before the commission, no reductions are made in
their rates without the public appearing before the Railway Commission and fighting for their rights to the bitter end. When the people of Canada appointed the Railway Commission, they did a just and wise thing. But we must remember that from the time of its establishment, any individual or body wishing to have rates lowered on telegraphs, telephones or railways has had to go before the commission and claim this redress. Not one of these public utilities will grant concessions to the public gratuitously.
The purely domestic business of the Canadian Pacific Railway telegraphs increased to from about $575,000 in 1906, to over $1,200,000 in 1910, or 110 per cent in four years. The estimates of last year's business is over $1,400,000, being an increase in five years of over 143 per cent on domestic business alone.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.P.R. REVENUE OF TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.
Net. Surely the figures I have given are an argument in favour of government ownership. Now, it has been found by experience, particularly in large businesses, that the lowering of rates does not necessarily mean a loss of revenue. The Dominion postal rates were lowered in 1896 from 3 cents to 2 cents, and the increased volume of business resulting was sufficient to make up for the sacrifice on the sale of individual stamps. If the tolls of the telegraph companies were arbitrarily cut down by one third, it is safe to assume that the increased volume of business would more than compensate for the anticipated loss. There is no more wear and tear on the wire to send a message 10,000 miles than there is to send it 500 miles. Mr. Kent, the electrical expert of the Canadian Pacific Railway telegraphs, stated last week that a copper wire was practically indestructible and that an iron wire would last for 30 years. Two messages are generally sent over one wire and sometimes as many as four. They can send a telephone and a telegraph message over the same wire at the same time, and I understand that two telephone messages can be sent over the same wire at the same time. The telegraph, telephone and cable can use the same wire if necessary. The Canadian Pacific Railway has ten copper wires between Sudbury and North Bay and six copper wires between Fort William and Winnipeg. Running into Winnipeg from the west they have eleven copper wires and eighteen iron wires, and from the east and south, seven copper wires and eight iron wires. This gives some idea of the extent of the business in and out of the city of Winnipeg.
The western provinces depend largely upon their telegraph messages; for all are aware the telephones are owned and operated by the several provinces, and they are unable to further the messages east as we
should like to have them furthered. In Manitoba they have been compelled to buiid a copper wire for their provincial line U>
connect with Minneapolis and Chicago. From a national standpoint it is our duty to see to it that messages are sent to our provinces at the lowest possible cost, and in that way bind together the provinces of the Dominion.
The Canadian Pacific railway leases a through line from Montreal to Vancouver to^the British Cable Company Board for $65,000, a portion of which is paid by the Canadian government. The cost of copper wire of 210 lbs. to the mile, including labour of stringing and placing the wire in position is $44.25. The cable wire across the continent, 2,906 miles at $44.25 a mile would mean $128,590 for one line of wire. The Canadian Pacific Railway's submarine cables with three conductors cost nearly $2,000 per mile. This is the value placer on it by the Canadian Pacific railway. This, apparently, is the cable line between Vancouver island and the mainland, 67.58 miles, valued at $129,000. The property of the Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph Company called the commercial end of their business, does not cost them very much to own and operate in addition to what they -would be compelled to pay to keep up the telegraph lines in order to run their railway. Hon. members will have observed advertisements in various magazines calling attention to the night letters which the telegraph companies offer to send at half price; I have in mind particularly an advertisement in the Saturday ' Evening Post ' of March 17, 1911, which cost the telegraph company over $700. They would not be likely to place that advertisement unless they expected a return from it. It all goes to show that these companies handle the business at a great reduction on their present rates. The Postal Telegraph Cable Company in the United States is the land side of the Commercial Cable Company. Both are included in what is known as the Mackays. The Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph Company operates the Canadian end of the Majckay Company's telegraph and telephone lines. A telegraph pole can carry 48 wires easily. The average over all the Canadian Pacific Railway lines is only about six wires to a pole. The Canadian Pacific Railway telegraph lines make an average of 100 per cent on outlay each year; in other words, their operating expenses were less than 50 per cent of their income.
Now, I have no doubt that those who oppose the resolution will cite the condition of affairs in the old land. But when we consider the enormous amount of -water in the purchase of the telegraph and telephone lines there, we can hardly wonder that the system has not been placed on a paying basis as yet. But if you consider the
The conditions of affairs in Canada are such as could demand our immediate attention. When you find the province of Manitoba compelled to build a copper wire line from Winnipeg to the boundary line connecting there with the Northwestern Telephone Exchange Company, and forming a direct line through service from Minneapolis to Chicago in order to reach our eastern provinces surely it is time for us at least to investigate. In addition to this there are few farmers phones in the province of Manitoba, that cannot be connected with Winnipeg.
In 1910 no less than 1,481 miles of long distance telephones were added to the system. The number of subscribers in that year increased by 8,336, nearly half of which increase was in the rural districts among the farmers. Hon. gentlemen opposite may complain possibly of the position taken by the Manitoba government in order that they may compel those who are living in the cities and towns to pay a reasonable portion of the running expenses of the system, but it would be well for them jrossibly to look into the system that has recently been inaugurated. Why should the large industrial centres, such as Winnipeg, with their offices and stores that require a very greatly extended and expensive service for their accommodation, be given the same rates as those which are given to people living in the rural districts? I should say in justice to the provincial government of Manitoba that they are to be complimented on the manner in which they have extended the lines into the rural districts, because there is nothing which will help to enlighten and educate the people of the province more quickly than will the telephone line being extended as it is being extended in Manitoba. As the Manitoba government have already stated, within five years time practically every man living in the rural part of the province will be given telephonic connection with the city of Winnipeg. I am sure it will be a great satisfaction when that is done. In Portugal telephones are being taken over and worked by the government. There is a report which has recently come from Lyons, France, where exchangeless telephones have been given a trial. ~They have been able to show a remarkable increase in the number of messages that can be delivered within a given time, and a great saving in the number of persons employed in the various offices of the country as a result of the introduction of this system. The reduction in the number of officials in the offices has been so great that there has been very strong objection to the adoption of the system throughout France on that account. But, that is the only objection to it. There are 2,380,000 telephones in Europe including the figures for Russia in Asia, Mr. ARMSTRONG (E. Lambton).
and about 6,870,000 in the United States alone, without including Canada, and the whole of South America. ' The National Telephone Journal,' of London, England, has recently published some interesting statistics regarding telephone development in Europe, from which the following summary is taken:
- No. of Telephones in use. Jan. 1, Jan. 1, 1908. 1909. Popu- lation per Tele- phone.German Empire [DOT] 768,260 851,319 71Great Britain and Ireland 528,703 565,854 77France 178,518 194,159 202Sweden 150,948 156,000 34Austria-Hungary.... 108,457 124,825 209Russia 97,043 113,000 1,322Switzerland
The Bell Telephone Company of Canada, operating in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, in a report issued within the last few months, state that they have in their own service a telephone per 27 of the population, or with their connecting companies, a telephone per 25 of the population. The Bell Telephone Company of Canada on the 24th February, 1910, presented their annual report in which it is stated that the number of instruments now earning rental was 114,000 and miles of ware 48,000. If their lines are only connected up with the. 320 independent companies yet unconnected in the province of Ontario, where we have 460 independent companies altogether, and with the 500 companies in the other provinces you can readily understand the position that these independent companies will be placed in. It has only been recently that the Bell Company would even connect up with the local companies in the municipalities. I need scarcely call the attention of the House to the struggles that have been made in many of the cities and towns in Ontario in order to obtain a reasonable amount of justice from the Bell Telephone
Company in the matter of connections. Not only that, but I can show you where the Bell Telephone Company make excessive charges against independent companies when they do connect with them. There is no doubt in my mind that every one of these independent companies will be willing to be placed in connection with the trunk lines of telephone in older that they may extend their service.
You can send a telegram of ten words anywhere in Holland for 10 cents and for each additional word six-tenths of a cent. A five-word despatch to Great Britain costs only 25 cents and one to the United States 40 cents and upwards per word. The telephone rates are equally low. Every city has a good service with the wires on street towers 100 feet high, so that they rise far above the houses.
Telephone connection between New York and Denver, a distance of 2,011 miles, without recourse to relay stations, was opened for commercial purposes on May 9, 1911. On this line three persons can talk to Chicago, and a fourth to Denver over two sets of wires and simultaneously eight separate telegraphic messages can be seDt over the same wires to Chicago and two others to Denver and all without any reference, through what is called ' The Loaded Phantom Circuit.' While Mayor Robert W. Sphere, of Denver, Mayor Carter Harrison, of Chicago, and Mayor James C. Dahlman, of Omaha, Nebraska, were having' a three-cornered conversation ten telegraphic messages were passing over the same wires. In order to obtain this the Telephone company had men climb every one of the 87,000 telephone poles between New York and Denver and change the 285,000 insulators from glass to porcelain.
I merely wish to call your attention to this fact to show the advance that has been made along the lines of improvement, in telephone matters within the last^ few years. It emphasizes the advisability of the appointment of a commission to go to foreign lands, investigate these different public utilities, and bring home information with regard to the latest and most improved systems in order that we may be in a position to establish the best possible telephone and telegraph system in our country. I called attention a few moments ago to the f#ct that wireless telegraphy in our country was a necessity and that it should be government owned, controlled and operated.
The more I have investigated the matter the more convinced I have become that the government of Canada should at once take over these wireless telegraph stations, and own, control and operate them. The agreement between the Marconi Company and the Dominion is as follows:
The company are permitted to construct stations and to install therein their systems of wireless telegraphy, and to build houses, furnish them for operators suitably for the requirements of the station, for the sum of $5,000 for each station.
As I have said they have spent from $10,000 to $20,000 on each station. The governments of Australia and New Zealand have decided to establish a system of wireless telegraphy which will be under their control and which will embrace the various routes to the British islands. ,
I feel that the time has come when Canada can no longer afford not to be the owner of a cable line or two cable lines between our shores and the motherland. As I have said, all the cables between the mother country and Canada to-day are owned, controlled and operated from New York. The cost of a cable to England would not exceed $5,000,000 and it will be seen that it would be an advantage to us as a nation to own and operate a cable ourselves and not be urging and begging and pleading with Great Britain t-o give a portion of the $5,000,000 towards the building of a cable. There is no question in my mind that it would be a profitable investment from the start, and that we could give a rate of one half the present cable rates. Such a cable would greatly strengthen the bonds be-t-ween Canada and the motherland. If the thousands of British immigrants who are going into our northwestern provinces, could be placed in cable communication with their friends at home, at a very cheap rate, it would tend to greatly cement the friendship between the people of our country and those at home. The advantage of direct and cheap cable communication between the grain merchants of Winnipeg and Liverpool are obvious. Such a cable would tend to bind together the provinces of Canada and the empire as a whole.
To show the probable effect of such a cable system I wish to place before the House the history of postal rates between Canada and Great Britain. When the Canadian government took over the post office in 1851 the charge on letters passing between Canada and Great Britain was one shilling per half ounce. In 1868 a reduction of 50 per cent was made and the rate became sixpence per half ounce. Two years later a further cut of 50 per cent was made and the rate became threepence or six cents per half ounce. In 1875 there was a slight reduction from 6 to 5 cents per half ounce. That rate remained in force until 1898 when the Canadian government obtained the inter-Imperial Postage Commission and on Christmas day of'that year the imperial postal rates came into operation. In 1907 the rate was still further re-
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.P.R. REVENUE OF TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.
I wish to take up a little time oi the House with reference to parcel post because I think the easy exchange of commodities and merchandise between the producer and consumer is far from being perfect in Canada. Comparing our progress in this regard by that made by such countries as England, France, Germany, and other lands makes us appear away behind the times as compared with them. The Canadian in Europe can send home to any part in Canada a parcel weighing two and a half times more than the Canadian limit, and for about one-third less in cost than the home rates. In other words, the world's parcel union package unit is eleven pounds to the parcel, carried at the rate of twelve cents per pound, whereas the Canadian unit is five pounds to the package and carried at a cost of sixteen cents per pound. The citizens of Canada are entitled to utilize the advantages of their post-office system, the same as the men engaged in other lines of business. The question is frequently asked: What is parcel post? It is merely the extending of the weight of the package now carried in Canada to a considerable extent in order to meet with the public demands. In Germany many farmers deliver special products by post, such as chicken, butter, eggs and like products. Germany makes money out of parcel post. Canada does the unprofitable end of the parcel carrying business, and watches the express companies do the profitable end. Last year over 225,000,000 parcels were carried by the post office department in Germany of an average weight of eight pounds. If we had to build our post offices out of the revenue of the Post Office Department as they do in England, and many other countries, we would devise some way to do at least part of the express business of the country.
The proposition I have to offer would only advise what might be called The Limited Parcels Post, confined exclusively to rural districts and delivered on rural mail routes only. Such parcels must have their origin on or at the start of a rural mail route. Why should express companies be given a monopoly on the profitable parcel carrying trade while the postal department contents itself with the least profitable? Why should the government give foreign, four-pound parcels a rate of 60 cents, while we must pay 80 cents regardless of distance? Why is a package carried at any rate up to eleven pounds in our mails, if mailed in a foreign country, when we can but mail five pounds and even then pay 331 per cent more? The express companies pay one and two hundred per cent profit, while we are doing the unprofitable end. It is
claimed that the great mail order or catalogue houses are behind the parcel post in order that they may flood the country with their goods to the injury of the small retailers.
The parcels post system in England has not tended to create catalogue houses, nor has it in Germany or other countries tended to prosper great departmental stores. It has done three things and done them effectively. It has eliminated costly and extravagant express monopoly, and has greatly accommodated the general public consumer, retailer and wholesaler. Absence of a parcel post enables the railway companies through companies called express companies, to eliminate and prevent all regulation in one branch oi our transportation, and in the meantime the government has not extended to us the low rates, and the liberal conditions of such a service between our own towns and amongst themselves. It turns over to foreign countries the facilities of our expensive postal department and furnishes the service to foreign citizens at the low rates which are denied us. Great Britain has a most serviceable parcels post. Also Australia and New Zealand have had for years a thoroughly modern colonial, intercolonial and foreign parcels post, these advantages have been enjoyed by the people of the colony even to the most remote districts through which the mail service penetrates. In all of the many publications from Australia and New Zealand, or by the officials of these colonies I have not been able to find a sentence to the effect that the local merchants of these colonies have been in the least injured by their business by catalogue houses. In fact as the catalogue houses are unknown in those countries, they have a modern parcels post, it would appear that instead of the modern parcels favouring catalogue houses the very opposite is the case. American dealers have found that they can ship light weight packages of shoes to Mexico much cheaper by parcels post than by freight. For an ordinary package weighing fifteen pounds in Germany the charge for sixty-two miles is sixteen and two-thirds cents. Germany has been handling parcels post for many years. In France they have a splendid system of parcels post; plants and shrubs, live creatures, boxes of cigars, oysters, cotton, oil paper, and an endless number of things are carried. Great Britain gives the railways fifty-five per cent of the gross receipts from such parcels as are railway borne. This of course excluding the great number received and delivered in the same city. The railways are paid over five million dollars per annum from this source. The balance goes to the Post Office Department.
Great Britain and Ireland handled last year 113,230,000 parcels. This being double the number of fifteen years ago and about two and one-half for each of the total population. The average postage was a trifle under ten cents. Parcel rates within the United Kingdom are three-tenths or six cents for not over one pound. Eight cents for not over two pounds. Ten cents for not over 3 pounds and so on up to 21 cents for eleven pounds. The regulations in Canada as to parcels are apparently designed to prevent their carriage by post. Here parcels cost 11 cents per pound and the limit of weight is five pounds, although absurdly enough to contrast between some two dozen countries and our own. The rate is only twelve cents per pound and the limit is eleven pounds. The five pound package in Canada at the high charge of sixteen cents per pound makes a charge of eighty cents for a package that would be carried in England for twelve cents, and our own package would go to England for 60 cents. Further the many limitations as to the kind of things accepted makes it no wonder that the average weight of packages here is only one-third of a pound.
That a rural parcel post would be of material advantage to the retail merchant in competition with mail order houses is seen at once when it is pointed out that the latter, at the proposed general parcel post rate of 12 cents a pound would be obliged to pay $1.32 for sending an 11 pound package to a rural route patron, a difference in favour of the local storekeeper of about 10 cents a pound, or $1.07 on an 11 pound package.
The parcel post rates in England are as follows:
Those who claim that an increase in the weight limit would work an injury to country merchants appear to have the impression that mail order business houses now deliver their goods extensively through the postal service, and that this practice would largely increase if the recommendations which have been made become law. Upon a moment's reflection it would be perceived that the present rate of 16 cents a pound ($16 per hundredweight) as well as the; proposed rate of 12 cents a pound ($12 per hundredweight), are alike prohibitive on practically all lines of merchandise.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.P.R. REVENUE OF TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.
I understand many members of the House would like to speak on this question and, as I am afraid if the hon. gentleman speaks until six o'clock, tihe question will be automatically out of tlhe order paper. Therefore I would ask the hon. member to move the 'adjournment
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.P.R. REVENUE OF TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.
If the adjournment is not moved it occupies a higher place than ii the adjournment is moved. If the adjournment is not moved it goes at the head of Private Bills and Orders, whereas if the adjournment is moved it goes to the foot, therefore I think it would be better not to move the adjournment.
Air. ARA1STRONG (Lambton). I am sorry to have been compelled to take up so much time. I have given a great deal of time and pains to the gathering of this material, and hope it will be of some benefit to the people of Canada. The rates of parcel post in a number of European and other countries are as follows:
- Afaximum AVeight of Parcels. Minimum Charge for a Parcel. Charge for 11 Pounds.Australia 11 12 [DOT]72Austria 110 [DOT]06 12Belgium
The international business has grown to enormous proportions. The figures collected at Berne for 1904, in connection with the postal union, show that the parcels mailed across the frontiers of 36 nations and colonies that year numbered something like 38,000,000. The parcels received by post by the United States during the fiscal year of 1906 from abroad were recorded as 131,064, of an average weight of 2-73 pounds. Sufficient figures have been given to indicate what a great factor parcels post has become in the trade of the world. The value of the merchandise thus transported can only be roughly estimated but it will probably exceed $500,000,000
annually. This business is transacted across frontiers, causing little or no friction with customs officers. Boxes with declared values are subject to legislation of the country of origin or destination, as regards payment of stamp duties on articles exported, and as regards the control of stamp and customs duties on articles imported. The stamp duties and charges for examination by customs officers involved in the importation are collected from the addresses when the articles are delivered.
To illustrate the inconsistency in connection with our present parcels post system, an individual entering any post-office in our country with two parcels weighing five pounds each will be obliged to pay 80 cents, on the one to Montreal, for example, but for the one destined for a foreign country although it usually passes
through Montreal, the charge is 60 cents. Should the weight be five pounds six ounces a package addressed to the resident in Montreal will be denied admission to the mails by the postmaster, while the package intended for a resident in a foreign land will be accepted and forwarded, probably via Montreal, at the rate of 12 cents per pound. Parcels for foreign countries will be received in most instances up to eleven pounds.
A rural parcels post would do more to overcome our present way of centralizing our population than any other one thing. Is would serve to stimulate trade between the farmer and the country merchant and be a blessing to the consumer. The legislation I would propose for rural parcels post may be summarized as follows:-
The Postmaster General, under suoli regulations as he may prescribe, may authorize postmasters and carriers on such rural lines as he shall select to accept for delivery by carnier on the route, or on any other route starting at the post office, branch post office or station, which is the distributing point for that route, or for delivery through any post office branch, branch post office or station on any of the said routes, at such rates of book rate as he shall determine, packages not exceeding eleven pounds in weight, containing no mail matter of the first class, and no matter that is declared by law.
There is much misconception on the subject of parcels post. In China a parcels post system is carried on with all the European countries. Postal rates on parcels post sent from the United Kingdom to Germany are considerably higher than rates for parcels sent from Germany to the United Kingdom. The Russian Consul in the tenth consular district of Warsaw, reports that British manufacturers are handicapped owing to the difference in parcels post rates between the United Kingdom and Russia and Germany and Russia. Those rates are as follows:
From United Kingdom to Poland 5.0
3 lb. parcel 2.0
3.0From Germany to Poland
3.D.3 lb. parcel
Germany is able to increase her trade.
The 'Swiss government now owns the majority of the railway mileage of the country, regulates and controls the traffic rates on all the railways, manufactures all equipment except rails, for all the railways, and owns and operates the telegraph and telephone systems, for which it manufactures all the equipment thereby securing a uniformity of instruments and apparatus. There is a free delivery mail; including rural districts, a parcel post by which anything from a spool of thread to a locomotive may be forwarded; and a post office banking system designated as post check.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.P.R. REVENUE OF TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.